The open Web is a “global public resource”

Mark Surman has published an important post on the Mozilla blog titled “The Internet is a Global Public Resource” that is worth reading:

We believe the health of the Internet is an important issue that has a huge impact on our society. An open Internet—one with no blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization—allows individuals to build and develop whatever they can dream up, without a huge amount of money or asking permission. It’s a safe place where people can learn, play and unlock new opportunities. These things are possible because the Internet is an open public resource that belongs to all of us.

The open Web is tremendously important and it’s something we should all do our part to protect, however small. I like Surman’s environmental movement analogy:

Consider the parallels with the environmental movement for a moment. In the 1950s, only a few outdoor enthusiasts and scientists were talking about the fragility of the environment. Most people took clean air and clean water for granted. Today, most of know we should recycle and turn out the lights. Our governments monitor and regulate polluters. And companies provide us with a myriad of green product offerings—from organic food to electric cars.

One way you can protect the open Web is to use it. Create a blog or personal space on the Web outside social networks. Something that is yours and that you can use with social networks, not sacrifice for social networks.

If you want to read a little more:

The Web we need to save

By Paul

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

One comment

  1. There is a new conversation about the Open Web and it’s called AltPlatform.org.
    The Open Web is increasingly important as the major silos online attract more users and become more insular to maintain their dominance. A prominent example of a silo is Facebook and its service ecosystem.
    The Open Web stands as an important counterpoint to the siloed Web. In a sense, it’s a lot like the contrast between open source software and proprietary systems. Proprietary services tend to be easier to use, even if they are harmful on the long run.
    As important as it is, the Open Web also a largely invisible theme because the vast majority of the Web’s denizens are happy to use siloed services without much thought about the implications of investing so much in them.

    The open Web is a “global public resource”

    I’ve been a big believer in the Open Web for some time and I was pretty excited to discover that Richard MacManus and a few other writers have launched AltPlatform.org, a non-profit publication focused on the Open Web:

    What do we mean by “Open Web”? Firstly, we want to experiment with open source (like this WordPress.org blog) and open standards (like RSS). We’re also using the word open to signify a wider, boundary-less view of the Web. In other words, we want to look for opportunities beyond the Walled Gardens – proprietary platforms like Facebook and Twitter where you don’t own your own data, you have little control over your news feeds, and you have to live by certain rules.
    Our desire to explore the Open Web explains why we’ve created a new blog, rather than simply start a Facebook Page or sign up to Medium. We’re a group blog because we want to create thoughtful, inspiring posts that link liberally to others. We want a proper archive of content, which isn’t possible on Facebook or Medium. We want our feed of content to flow across the Web using RSS. Heck, we might even resurrect trackbacks.

    The chances are that the Open Web, as a theme and as a call to action, will have relatively limited appeal to people, generally speaking.
    Most people want to share stuff and check their news. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar services make this really easy and you don’t need to build a site and maintain it to do that.
    Open Web technologies also tend not to pass the “my Mom uses it” test. This is an adoption killer unless you’re sharing with communities who are already using alternative platforms.
    Still, the Open Web is worth protecting and talking more about. It’s pretty encouraging to read about how Open Web technologies can be used for the type of sharing we have come to expect in more closed services, even if it requires a bit of tinkering at the moment.
    AltPlatform.org looks like an important part of that conversation and I’m pretty excited to participate in that conversation going forward. If this appeals to you too, you should definitely read the Open Web Manifesto:

    Introducing AltPlatform & our manifesto for the Open Web

    One suggestion I’d make is that MacManus and Co. license their work under a CC license that fosters sharing and reuse. It sort of goes with the territory.
    Image credit: Toa Heftiba

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