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MLSs Should Pay Attention to Doc Searls

Dec 30, 2008 Michael Wurzer

In his post entitled The future that won’t be distributed, Doc Searls writes:

I think the reason we get upset about What Twitter is Doing, or What Google Is Doing, is that we are too dependent on them.

The Net and the Web are environments that encourage and support both our independence and our interdependence. Single-source one-to-many forms of dependence, such as we have on Google and Twitter are old-skool scaffolds of dependency, within and around which we will build forms of infrastructure where we become ever more fully independent and interdependent — without BigCo or HotCo intermediation. They may be involved, but not as Absolute Necessities. Not as silos. Not as walled gardens we can’t leave.

Data portability is part of it. So is service portability. We will always have BigCos like Google and HotCos like Twitter, to help us out. They are necessary but insufficient members of the future infrastructure where we are free to take or leave any of them — while also appreciating what they do.

We aren’t there yet. How fast we progress depends on how much we embrace our need for independence.

This is a mission statement for MLSs, making themselves “necessary but insufficient members of the future infrastructure where we are free to take or leave any of them — while also appreciating what they do.” This is the essence of competition, of being big but not too big to fail. All services should have freedom of choice at their center, which would require them to focus on proving in the marketplace why they should be appreciated.