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tom moody

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Conversation re: Ownership of the Web and its Data

from here via here:
Burak Arikan:

You've probably following the recent news about the small scale social web 2.0 companies being acquired by giant corporations (e.g., StumbleUpon acquired by Ebay, Feedburner acquired by Google). Feedburner tracks your blog's RSS feed statistics and shows the number of subscribers momentarily, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Now all your data is changing hands, from Feedburner to Google.

Feedburner puts a notice in their sign in interface saying that you have a right to opt-out, delete your data. If you take no action by June 15, 2007 (9 days as of today), the rights to your data will transfer from FeedBurner to Google.

I wonder how you feel about it?

I think this is an important moment to pay attention to how inhumane the data ownership laws in USA: One who aggregates data owns it.

Trebor Scholz:

GOOGLE now owns Blogger, Writely, Dodgeball, Feedburner, YouTube, and Picasa. EBay took over Stumbleupon and Skype. YAHOO snatched up Facebook,, WebJay, Jumpcut,, and Oddpost.

Mr. Murdoch's NEWS CORP acquired MySpace, the video and photo-sharing site PhotoBucket and the media mash up site Flektor. It goes without saying that they already own Fox News and Fox TV, and a few good old publishing houses like Harper Collins, Daily Telgraph, The Times, New York Daily Post, The Sun, and The Australian.

Fox Interactive bought Photobucket, which is well-liked on MySpace. NewsCorp's effort is to make services on MySpace proprietary. This means that in the future, MySpacers, will not be able to plug in third party services. The goal is to create, popularize, and monetize in-house applications and then close the door to the wealth of the sociable web. Murdoch clearly does not get the sociable web as this direction will go at the expense of the teens on MySpace.

Ebay's acquisition of Stumbleupon, the web browser plug-in that allows its users to discover and rate web pages, is driven by a different impulse. Ownership of the company means access to the 2.5 million strong community using it and will help eBay to gain more exposure for their web pages, which will lead to more transactions. [...]

Burak asks if we should call it quits; good bye, Feedburner? No. How much of a chance is there for essentialist alternatives in a post-autonomy world? Today's small startup (i.e. will be in the pocket of one media giant or the other by next month. [...]
One way not to be swallowed up is to make your site not very user friendly, keep your day job, and to be really honest about what you think (just a suggestion).

- tom moody 6-13-2007 10:00 pm [link] [7 comments]