Decentralized web

April 30, 2002

Doc Searls : Radio Bulletin

I want to see the Web restored to its original design as a symetrical system. I'd like speeds both up and down to be equal. I'd like Port 80 to go unblocked. Cable and ADSL (which constitutes most DSL) systems are set up today with the expectation that most people would rather consume than produce. In fact they actively discourage production. Yet most of us would probably rather put our photo albums and home movies on our own home servers instead of some BigCo or ISP server, if the choice was available. Decentralized weblogs, by appealing to relatively resourceful and motivated early adopters, will do more to drive a symetrcial web than anything else on the horizon right now.

Yes! I would like to be able to serve data from home. In particular, I'd like to plop all my MP3s on to a media server (an old computer with a big hard drive out of the way, in a closet or corner) so I can listen to them no matter what computer I'm using. I'd like to be able to share files from a local computer. I'd like to be able to host domains at home. Unfortunately, affordable cable modem or ADSL service is extremely limited in upstream bandwidth. This makes the web less web-like and more like traditional media. On the web, anyone can be an information producer, but the big companies building the Internet infrastructure don't see it that way. They see individual users as consumers only. This fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the web could have a negative impact. But, the explosion of blogging may well lead to more people wanting to serve their own material.

Posted by Andrew Raff at April 30, 2002 03:01 PM