the future will not be ours unless we take it back.
the Web was created as a place where everyone could have an equal voice, share experiences, knowledge, and connect in ways people never have before. as it has evolved, changing the way people live, the many services and platforms that have grown and developed on the Web have begun to erect walls, claim ownership over content, deliberately limit interoperability, and install barriers in order to lock users in and turn greater profits.
the free software movement revolutionized the software industry two decades ago, at a time when giving software and its source code away – commodities considered valuable and precious — for free was radical, unprecedented, and deemed threatening to the very fabric of commerce we seek to do the same to free the Web today back to its original founding vision and to ensure that society can benefit maximally from the sharing of ideas, technologies and techniques that can be used to help those in need and build a more integrated, supportive society.
our focus is on the end-user citizen; to empower users who are central to the success of the Web to each participating in the channeling, propagation, and distribution of information to others, rather than remaining powerless consumers at the edges.
As TimBL Tweeted at the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony, “This [Web] is for everyone” – let’s help keep it that way.
My name is Max Van Kleek; I am a senior research fellow of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and I received my Ph.D. from the Haystack Group at MIT CSAIL in June 2011. Please leave a comment, see my papers and projects or contact me at emax at hip dot cat for more information.