In #pcPopUp2020, Warren Berger talks about the power and potential of different types of questions. One type that stands out is the simple strategy of asking ‘What If?’ Here then are my thoughts on what if the web were different?
In a recent Chips with Everything podcast, Jordan Erica Webber paints the picture of a world where people have ‘feeds’ that are owned and manipulated by third-party vendors. The question that this poses is what if people were able manage their own feeds? This is the future that Tim Berners-Lee suggests in response to ‘how to fix the internet’:
This would also give you access to all of the data you create. We don’t have much control over how our data is used, yet we are also limited in what we can do with it ourselves. Berners-Lee gives the example of fitness-activity data: rather than it being locked up with a company, we should be able to decide whether or not to share this information and with whom. “If you can’t read it, it should be because I’ve decided that you shouldn’t read it – not because our machines won’t talk to each other,” he says. An app on the Solid platform could pull in your own data, plus any that others have shared with you. “[It’s] much more powerful for you as a user, because you can integrate all the data that you have got access to,” he adds.
I am not sure how MIT’s Solid project exactly works, maybe this is what Dave Winer talks about. However, I wonder what a #IndieWeb world would look like? Instead of worrying tagging people on Twitter or Facebook, use Person Tags to notify other users. Syndicate comments across sites. Whatever happens, we need something more than this.