1. Sami

    I disagree about de-coupling, which I will get to in a second. However, I do think you are on the right track. If we look at the business model for apps and the store, it makes sense. Developers like it because they can earn a buck. The company likes it because they can tax the developers. The end-user likes it because it’s simple and the cost is very appealing. Also, the cool factor is there. Once the content is available there is a social element to it that is very compelling.

    The browser is the platform. The reason I disagree with your idea about de-coupling is because no one gives enough of a shit to download and install and use something that they don’t care about; you mentioned that but your logic leads to a different conclusion. Google wants your data in the cloud. The people who don’t care are Opera and Mozilla, guys who are into open source.

    As a part of their business strategy they could form an alliance to develop a cross-platform browser-based platform that is hosted on the user’s computer. Firefox already has a huge extensions community they could leverage and Opera does as well to act as app developers. The reason for this is because it’s trivial for them to push out such a platform to the consumers, where any separate product would take forever to adopt. They must do this, because if they don’t in a few years they will be completely irrelevant as Google will eat their entire market — everything in the cloud; everything tied to Google, etc. It’s already starting on Firefox.

    So this mythical platform would be a part of the browser, perhaps it would be persistent and keep running even if you shutdown your browser. Most people have browsers on all of the time. The apps produced would be cross-platform, cross-browser. If Google wants in or Microsoft for that matter, it should be allowed. It would actually fit nicely with Microsoft’s strategy against Google. The developers would develop and sell apps through a store. The browser developers would get an extra revenue stream. They could even start their own ad network against Google. But it takes a lot of initiative and Mozilla seems to be sleeping on this end.

    P2P networks in browsers have been around for 10 years. They have yet to catch on. They will never catch on if the major players don’t push it. An entrepreneur can’t step in and take this. It has to be an industry wide initiate by the key players including Moz, Opera, and even M$.

    • “Why can’t Jim see my stuff?”

      “Because you quit your browser.”

      “But, I wasn’t on the internet anymore.”

      “Just leave the browser open, Dad, so people can see your stuff. I know it doesn’t make sense. Just do it. Hide the application, but leave it running. I know. Seriously. That’s just how it works.”

      • lloyd norman

        Great information (if you are a geek). I agree that we “old farts” don’t know how to do the amazing things that you can. I find extremely great use of the computer for e-mails, iphoto, itunes,word processing, and so on.
        They are all easy to use programs which I can relate to.
        Even then, I often have to phone D’Arcy to bail me out when I get stuck.
        You “geeks” keep up the good work. We of the older generation benefit from your knowledge and expertise.
        Lloyd (D’Arcy’s dad) Norman

      • Sami

        Torrent apps generally go to tray when you try to quit them. Same could be the case with the browser platform. You would have to right-click on the tray and choose to shut down the server if you so wished. I agree that it should not disappear once the browser window is closed.

  2. Joan norman

    I am so impressed – wish I was 30 years younger! I think then the idea of learning all the detail stuff you need to know would really appeal to me – but – think , for now, while I still have my vision, I’ll just pick up an old fashioned book! Great work, D’Arcy – such a smart son!
    Love, Mom

  3. Tell me though, what really is the difference between GoDaddy’s commercial interests and Google’s?

    The key point I think, is to be able to easily move data, and so far Google allows that. As for Delicious, for a long time now, it has been possible to store bookmarks both web based and on the browser. So the service to migrate to is the one that imports existing bookmarks from the browser right? A lot easier than hacking XML… likewise, Blogger exports good XML that imports easily to WordPress.. last I checked, WordPress did not port to Blogger though. RSS feeds make data back up very easy too.

    When I compare my experiences hosting my own to just using readily available platforms such as Google (with an eye on escape routes), my life has been so much easier and work sustained so much longer on the later. The one place I’ve been burned is Flickr. Didn’t see the lock in trap of the pro account.

    • Sami

      GoDaddy is interested in providing hosting. Google is interested in everyone’s personal details and aspects of their lives so that they can sell them to advertisers and potentially governments. To easily move data is rhetoric. Without having an alternative application, moving data is useless. Without having the social network available on the alternative application moving data is useless.

  4. Brad

    Long time first time.
    Your post takes me back to the 1990’s when I the early WYSIWYG web editors were emerging – I had some web programming colleagues were alarmed because suddenly the tools were in being made easy, available, and usable for anyone/everyone. They were a bit scared, but also excited. Your ideas here are similar – only it’s my systems admin colleagues who could be alarmed. The issue (then and now) is that the end-user needs to be empowered to do even the geekiest stuff – – stuff that is currently reserved only for the true geeks. We’ve empowered self-publishing with WYSIWYG, blogs, wikis, etc. You’re suggestion here is to take that a step further – empower self-… self-… self-systems administration with the do-it-yourself philosophy of Web 2.0.

    Thanks for this post – it actually synchs with thoughts I’ve been trying to articulate in terms of providing systems support and services to faculty wanting to innovate – wanting to do this stuff. IT departments struggle with sustaining the load of centralized systems and can become a bottleneck to faculty innovation. You’ve described a distinct part of the bottleneck, and also explored a scenario to resolve it. Excellent food for thought.

    good post – ge

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