Long ago, when someone explained the web to me, I immediately understood what they were talking about. I mean, it sounded really simple and functional. But I was wrong. There were so many things I never anticipated.
In little sips, I'm reading David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined. The depth and breadth of his vision for the web is just phenomenal. It defines a whole new frontier for human knowledge and growth.
I also lurk at a discussion group called ExperienceDesign. Today, one of their members, Karl Long, called our attention to a post by Peter Merholz at Adaptive Path. It's pure genius. Take a sip here and then go read the whole thing. Surprising, huh? Stuff you didn't realize you should know.
Again and again, the history of the Web shows us the value of relinquishing control. Amazon’s customer comments were originally thought foolish by those who believed negative reviews would hurt sales. Instead, they increased trust, which drove more transactions. eBay’s open marketplace eschews centralized control of buyers and sellers, instead favoring a distributed management system where individuals rate one another. Not coincidentally, Google, Amazon, and eBay have all made available their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so that others can leverage their information in unforeseen and innovative ways.