The Revolution Is Upon Us

Since I was exposed to a very similar theme across three different conversations today, I think I should comment on something that I see brewing.  It seems that the centralized internet as we know it is now objectionable.  Google can get you anything you want, all you need to do is ask.  YouTube can show you anything you want, just search (Oh, and if you didn’t know, YouTube is controlled by Google).  There is a massive advantage to having everything centralize…it is fast and accessible.  Of course the downside is that it is essentially monopolized data.

Three separate people who don’t know each other brought this up with me today, in three separate contexts.  All three expressed a desire to decentralize is some capacity, whether it be media, search or something different.  I just read a post over at Chris Brogan’s blog that addresses this as well, and he even mentions cobbling together some Cisco servers and essentially starting over.  Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I’m old enough and geeky enough to remember a very decentralized internet.  If that original concept were combined with the processing power and bandwidth that is available to us today…things may feel very different.

What if the internet was more of a peer-to-peer network like Lime Wire or Bearshare, although instead of simple file swapping from computer to computer, we did information swapping?  Naturally there would be a massive amount of resistance against this, centralized information is worth entirely too much money…decentralized information that is not owned by anybody cannot be monetized byconventional means.  Simply put, letting go of control would cost too much, and the white-knuckle grip over centralization would be fought to the bitter end.

I’m embeding the same video that Chris did, I think it’s smart and brings up some good questions.  What about free speech?  Is the internet still free, or has centralization created too much potential monetization, and by default, an entirely new set of self-imposed decency standards?

Although organizations like The Pirate Bay use decentralization for thier personal gain, imagine a similar network of search, media and social networking.  Decentralization, no one person or group able to lay claim to it.  Scary, or reality? Only time will tell.

By Matt Singley

Personal: husband to Alison, father to four amazing kids. I used to live a fast but enjoyable life in Los Angeles, now I have chickens on acreage in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just a bit different. I'm an advocate for cycling as much as you can and eating as cleanly as you can afford. Professional: I'm the CEO of Singley + Mackie, a creative digital agency that serves well-known lifestyle and entertainment companies around the world. Clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Hulu, YP and others. If you want to find the more-professional me, go to