The internet has some ‘super pillars’

I never heard of MetaFilter, but reading about their imminent demise makes for interesting reflection. Think about it, entire ecosystems depend entirely on two Google services:

  1. Search
  2. Ads

And those services are:

  • Closed
  • Proprietary
  • Opaque

The other week a colleague was ruminating on the fact that they are starting to avoid Facebook because, well, it was getting to be just too much. Sort of like Google, entire livelihoods depend upon services that Facebook provides, but all it does is solve a fairly simple problem: Staying in touch with people. Google solved the “how do I find stuff on the internet” problem.

So, I coin here term ‘super pillar’ as an online service where millions of other services depend upon it.

The same colleague asked out loud “is there anything on the internet that is forever”… to which I replied “email”. However, despite email’s horrible reputation for millions of spam bots everywhere, it truly is one of the few things that is “forever” on the Internet. And email is:

  • Standards-based
  • Open
  • Free

Although it doesn’t quite qualify as Open Source, in a way it is the first successful “open source-ish” project that the Internet had, and it remains today as the foremost service the Internet offers. Interesting to think that both Google and Facebook have answers to the problems that email solves…

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  1. “is there anything on the internet that is forever”
    Anything you ever post online, or file submitted.