The Internet was intended to be a vast public network with the World Wide Web designed to be a way for everyone to share information in an open and free way. But the massive growth of Facebook, Google, Amazon and others has resulted in a centralisation of the web with vast swathes of our data in the control of a relatively small number of parties. The creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee wants to change that with a new project he has launched.
Berners-Lee has been working with a team to develop an open-source project to restore the power and agency of individuals on the web. Dubbed Solid, the aim is to provide users with an application platform that gives individuals control over their data. Sitting on the web, Solid lets users decide where data is stored and who can access it. It also supports data portability through standards so you can easily move from one app to another without having to mess around with data migration hassles.
The project is intersting and I think anything that breaks the dominance commercial entitites have on the Internet is a good thing. For Solid to succeed it will need to attract the attention of developers who can create compelling apps and time so people can move away from the existing, powerful companies that dominate our use of the Internet.
Do you think this can work?