Thursday, March 17, 2011

The tech industry is trapping us in their "big bubble."

If you look at any section of the tech industry, you'll notice a new trend. They're trapping us into their "closed bubble." You can use the cable and content industry as an example.
The cable companies hate FCC's proposed Net Neutrality because it kills their closed eco-system and forces them to provide at least some options. The cable companies want you to subscribe to their service and want you to buy their cable box or DVR. They desire to lock you into their service exclusively and make you come to them for all the content. But yet, at the same time, they don't want to spend much to gain content from content makers. Also an important note, the cable providers don't want you to have choice. As a result, they hate and are trying to take down YouTube and other video web services as well as Netflix. If Netflix and YouTube have less content than the cable companies do, or if services like Netflix have limitations, then that'll just give the cable companies more to profit on and as a result, they have a monopoly.

You could also look at the new smartphone 'apps' trend. Apple sort of 'invented' this form of content with their iOS'App Store.' Applications are essentially content websites, (e.g. games, news, productivity, entertainment etc.) conveniently wrapped up in a closed package. Emphasis on closed because the developer is the only one who has access to the source. Thus, we're, unfortunately, moving away from the open internet infrastructure for content, to the closed application model.

The solution:
The good news is that every problem has a solution, including this one. For video content, such as the content you consume on your cable box, we could shift focus from the cable companies to web content providers (such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu). If the FCC would just give it a better attempt, then we could make this happen. At this moment in time, FCC's Net Neutrality, unfortunately, does not do a good job of that. However, I like the concept the FCC has put out there. The best part about putting your content on the web is that you don't need a big budget or a big time production company to help you be successful online. For a fairly small budget and with some decent quality content, you can be successful.
The same thing is true with 'apps.' You can make any of those successful games (such as Angry Birds, We Rule, Cut the Rope etc.), productivity apps, business apps, medical apps, and all those other apps, into websites on the open internet. It may sound difficult, but more and more with the expansion of HTML5 and HTML5 capability, you can make a great web app using open technologies (HTML5) on an open platform (the internet.) No one said you had to make your content open or unprotected. You can put copy protection on your content, but at least deliver your content on an open platform with open technologies so that you can maximize your potential with the most amount of users or viewers.
Then again, if you decide to keep your content unprotected, more power to you! Keeping your content unprotected and open benefits you and your users! But of course, no pressure to keep it open.
This will not be an overnight transition from closed to open platforms, but over time, if we move from these closed eco-systems, to the web, we, as consumers, and the content creators, will see a great benefit from it.

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