[opendtv] Re: Another point of view on walled gardens

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2010 07:01:57 -0500

At 7:07 PM -0500 2/4/10, John Shutt wrote:

2. I do not think we missed a point being made by the article. The article stated (and Craig, you can listen to this as well:)

"It reminds me of the early Internet provider battles with AOL and
CompuServe," said Don More, a partner at Updata, an advisory
investment bank for information technology mergers. "There are going
to be winners and losers."

"In those early days of the Web, users viewed content using those
specific systems; that is, AOL users saw only AOL content. Then the
World Wide Web became an open platform. Now, mobile devices are
splitting up the Web again."

Do you notice the sequence of events in the article? AOL users only saw AOL content, and CompuServe users only saw CompuServe content (although many companies had duplicate content on both systems.) Then the World Wide Web became an open platform.

Yes the article did discuss the history of walled garden services that predated the WWW.

But the point being made is that new walls are being built around devices. To the extent that some of these devices do not support Flash the author may have a point, however, I rarely find that to be an issue with my iPhone. There are also sites that use other plug-ins that I may not have installed including Silverlight. But few if any of these sites could be considered walled gardens in the historic AOL or Compuserve sense.

That being said, there are many real walled gardens out there, and I only see this trend increasing.

The Wall Street Journal is a walled garden - it uses the WWW for carriage, but you must pay to access the content. Many other sites are springing up that require an up front payment or a subscriber fee. And in many cases Apps (from Apple and others) are little more than a conditional access key to web sites with proprietary content. My son has subscribed to several paid news services with his iPhone.

Ironically the article I posted did not even mention this. It was focused on device specific content.

Regards
Craig



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