From its creation, the growing internet and World Wide Web has been shaped by two competing, often overlapping visions:

The Collaborative, #OpenWeb: Rooted in #DNA of internet code and culture, this vision is of a platform for collaboration, sharing, and free exchange of information. Built for use in a world of abundance of information, free as in free beer. Emphasizes , creativity, and collective creation, associated with “native geek culture” and radical/anarchist libertarian thinking.

The Commercial, #ClosedWeb: The approach of companies like Microsoft under Bill Gates, and late stage google, focuses on monetization and commercial viability of the internet. Fixated on fear of sustainability, profitability, and the economics of running online platforms in a scarcity based world.

    The Internet inherent democratization and egalitarianism allows everyone to create and share content. However, this ideal clashes with the pushing of commercial control, to monetize user data and interactions. From the #openweb prospective: Interconnectedness, technology, reflects human values and societal structures. Empowerment, the internet empowers people to distribute their work, share ideas, and bypass traditional gatekeepers. Education and Information, the web transforms education and information access to synthesizing vast resources needed for a different view of society.

    From the #closedweb prospective, you have fear, simply fear.

    The #openweb remains a battleground between these feelings, of openness and the pushing of fear. While it has worked to democratized content creation and access, the existing economic models to sustain this ecosystem are a toxic mess. The ongoing tension between these forces shapes society both online and offline, yes it’s a mess.

    Why we so often can’t see or do much about this mess

    On the web in general, our #geekproblem have disproportionate control over societal resources and decisions, with this blinded “feudalism” bypassing democratic processes and accountability. This is equally a “problem” in grassroots #FOSS and corporate #dotcons, as they share the same mindset.

    A part of the #openweb path is a move to re-evaluate in technology and wider society on the relationship between “control”, wealth, power, and social change. But currently we have no clear way to talk about this issue, the “problem” in geek culture. So have little way to mediate, the #closedweb problem of the groups who “succeed” in a capitalist being the worst equipped to solve the problems that the system creates.