This is quick post on an issue that has been with us since telecoms companies and other major utilities first gained then maneuvered to retain their cozy oligopolies. The story so far in recent web history Continue reading “A few are holding the hostage the many or it’s our data stupid!”
www.fluidinfo.com is a new database where anyone can add data – hence “a writable world”. Think of data being the underlying data and the meta data – in Terry’s world the two are dealt with the same way – an article and a rating, a film and a comment. Anyone can write to the database and if that data is public then anyone can search on it.
The big difference here is that the database does not have complex tables and schemas – any filds can be added and then searched upon. In a typical database the developers have to design the schema to be able to anticipate what you will be adding or searching for.
Show me all the web articles that I have liked that my Facebook friends like? Facebook would need to update their database, expose this information through their custom API and then another developer would need to create a database of information ralating to your favourite articles so that the search query could combine and search across the two sets of data. Data would sit in proprietary silos and our freedom to connect information would be limited to what was exposed via the applications various customer APIs.
Terry’s approach allows all applications to use the same API (Fluidinfo’s) and for us to search across this data in ways that don’t have to be anticipated in advance!
Sounds great – watch the video – http://www.kyte.tv/ch/6118/284808
Reading through a piece about Microsoft’s SaaS initiatives I couldn’t help thinking of the great book from the mid 90s written by Christensen called The Innovators Dilemma, When New Technologies Cause Great Firms To Fail.
The only way for Microsoft to counter the threat of a new technology like software a a service (“SaaS”) is to create a separate division with transparent licensing over the Office suite and a lot of autonomy to go make it work! I would prefer a model where Microsoft supports partners to provide MS under a SaaS model with MS providing these partners with integration for users across products and services and a certification program rather like Salesforce with its App Exchange. A business with Google Email would ask its MS partner to easily integrate this with the Corporate Wiki, MS Calender and Push Email product. This would hurt Google more than MS by ruining Google’s “suite of good enough products” strategy but more on this later. Best of breed will beat best of suite.
Clearly the citizen is a major stakeholder in Government IT projects. As such one might expect that answers could be provided to simple question that are very relevant to the citizen such as:
– are there any sex offenders teaching at my child’s school?
– is my brother in custody somewhere and if so where?
Unfortunately the answers are not available – neither to the public nor to the Government. Why?
I don’t have THE answer although from sources close to the IT projects concerned I can tell you that noone is focused on doing small simple things and delivering them qucikly. What I call incremental development.