Ownership vs. Membership considering Web-Applications and Services
This reflects O’Reilly’s idea of the user who controls (owns) his data.
Open user accounts (like OpenID, google, yahoo or even facebook connect which is proprietary) give the possibilities to configure, encompass and administrate – even different – user accounts.
Open APIs and protocols (e.g. OAuth) allow these services and applications to interconnect and make the creation of new mashups possible.
Considering this, the relationship of the user to these applications extends from a member even to an owner – if these services are hosted on a central accessible device.
This development is at an early stage, but nevertheless there are already several meta-applications which allow to encompass ones services on different planes:
- Dashboards: In this context dashboard means a control panel from which the services of a single distributor can be monitored and configured.
- Example: iGoogle, Google Dashboard, Google Desktop, ZOHO.
- Webtops: Webtops allow to configure and administrate services of multiple distributors. Webtops don’t need to be web-browser applications, with the advent of HTML 5 the borders between desktop and browser applications are blurring.
- Example: gowebtop beta from Laszlo Webmail
- Meta-User: One single user account allows to administrate the different user accounts of ones online services – that is the online equivalent to an unix admin account. Roles and profiles allow to assign the services to certain categories like public, business or private. That way the admin can control which group of the outside world has which distinct privileges on the data.
- Example: Chi.mp.
- Meta-Weblog: With a meta-weblog one can encompass all of his online activities like Twitter, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr and RSS-Feeds and combine them to a multi-hypermedial diary.
- Example: storytlr.
- Web-Browser: The browser is – asside of the task to display hypermedia documents – the gate of all online activities like e-mail, news-ticker, web-clipboard, blogging-client, video-streams and chat.
- Example: Flock Browser, Mozilla Jetpack, Opera Unite.
- Operating System: APIs are integrated in the operating system and are therefore allowing data control and exchange on the system level.
- Example: Google Android.
- Server: Applications are hosted on a central server and are available to a whole user group.
- Example: MS SharePoint, Google Wave, Opera Unite.