Startup founder Chad Whitacre caused a fuss recently when he suggested that a reporter do an “open interview” that would be available to everyone — but why is that approach seen as such a threat by some media outlets?
Mendeley, an open collaboration platform for scientific research, has promised that it won’t become less open after being acquired by journal publisher Elsevier, but some prominent users aren’t waiting around.
In his annual letter to shareholders of the seed-stage incubator Betaworks, founder and CEO John Borthwick argues that while closed platforms can be valuable in the short term, open systems and services will ultimately prevail.
Twitter’s ongoing moves to control more of its network — in order to monetize it — is an attempt to turn back the clock and undo some of the openness it started out with. But will it also rob the service of what made it so powerful?
Most critics of Dalton Caldwell’s App.net project seem to see it as a replacement for Twitter, only with users paying for the service rather than advertisers. But what the service really wants to be is a central messaging bus and open ecosystem for the social web.
This week marks the 21st anniversary of the world’s first website, and as new social-web platforms like Twitter and Facebook spend more and more of their energy trying to control and monetize their networks, it’s worth remembering some of the choices that the web’s creator made.
The way Facebook and Twitter have been controlling and/or closing down their platforms to outsiders may have parallels to the way other technology leaders have behaved in the past, but both companies need to be careful that they don’t ruin their platforms in the process.
Twitter needs to become more decentralized and open, says the company’s former chief engineer, or it will wither and die like other “walled garden” approaches to the web. Alex Payne says he recommended that Twitter become a more open platform, but senior executives decided against it.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says that he believes the benefits of taking an open approach to content outweigh the disadvantages, and says that something as large and influential as Wikipedia has become could never have been built unless the process was open to anyone to contribute.
Hot on the heels of the release of Opera 10.52 for Mac, I thought I’d chat to Bruce Lawson, a web evangelist at Opera, about the Open vs. Closed debate, and discover why open standards matter for web workers — and the web as a whole.