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Distributed web applications

My wisdom why I think that distributed webapps are the future of the internet

2013-05-14, 07:13:03-2013-05-16, 02:55:05


The current status quo #

It's marked as the reign of centralized networks

So we all know twitter, facebook, google+, pinterest, youtube or any other network out there that's centralized in someway and free to use. 

Most of their revenue is based entirely on advertisements. It is possible because they hold large quantities of meta data about their users which is helping them target the client ads. This model is untrustworthy because it's based on some shady algorithms and the highest bidder (like in an auction house) and if I want to explore something new I should't rely on advertisements because the result will be based on who has the biggest wallet. It will not be corelated with the value it may give me. And let's agree - there're more "organic" ways of marketing what's valuable (based on usage, reviews, rates etc.etc.)

Also exposing my own data and giving it freely to other centralized services can be little annoying. I know if I want to keep something private I should not post it on internet but this is not the case. The good thing is that government and other agencies can track down pedophiles, terrorists and other illegal stuff but this can be abused for eavesdropping. For now some centralized products out there are swearing that they preserve privacy or at least try to expose user data requests.

This issue is beginning to propagate in people minds and the ratio of distrust is rising. Starting with the IT sphere were we are security and privacy paranoids. So that's why I think we should focus more on making distributed web applications.


The bright future #

and how we will take what's ours

How do I see a distributed web application? I think that in a matter of decade desktop and web applications will be the same. Every app will have offline and online mode.

So a distributed web app will be build on the good practices from apps like these:

You control your own data and this is decentralizing the probable "stress" a system may encounter. Basically stress and sustainability are corelated. This is true not only for the IT industry and it's products. Here's a small TED video as food for thought.  It's all in our hands to try not to control the world :) I believe people should not be greedy.

What if the current centralized systems switch their paradigm? Instead of data keepers and resellers they become data sharers. What if Facebook tries to bundle it's facebook app and prepare it for mainstream adoption? Then the only thing keeping you from having your own facebook on your machine may be few Next-Next-Next-Install clicks and thus facebook.com may become just a mediator between it's instances :)

As hard disk space is getting cheaper and cheaper by the months it's rather easy to host your own videos, pictures, text or any other type of media on your own machine. The only thing left is that the main hub should focus on mediating everything better.

Currently you have to be tech savvy to install your own diaspora or statusnet instance (regardless their security issues). You have to host it too, which is a major drawback because majority of users is not their core competence to execute scripts etc. 

So with distributed web apps we will preserve control in our hands and we will manage to thrive with more freedom on our shoulders :)

I believe it will not be a matter of creating accounts - it will be more like installing an app. Although registering functionalities (as seen now) will not be deprecated as long as other centralized "empires" exist.

It's all just a matter of time and will power to learn from our mistakes from the physical world and try not to do them again in our virtual. 


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