It is interesting working in a post-bubble company, watching the companies on the edge of the newly expanding bubbles of search, Web services, blogging and social networking start to try and find ways to link and grow together.
Ask, after buying Bloglines, gets acquired by IAC. Yahoo acquires Flickr. MSN has Spaces; Microsoft buys a file-sharing company; Microsoft has skunkworks projects at Google just announced that they are looking for a UI developer to help revive and restore the flagging Blogger service.
The question that arises in my mind is whether these mergers will allow these large companies to effectively control access to what we can and cannot do online.
Now, I am not trying to be orwellian, I am just pointing out that there is likely to be a large amount of control and centralization in these outlets. In some cases, this will be good, providing us with services and features that were unattainable in the smaller company.
On the Dark Side, the benefits could be subsumed in a flood of meaningless co-linked content for tickets, shopping, and other detritus that has yet to overwhelm the new personalized blogging/peer-to-peer/social-networking universe that has “suddenly” appeared since 2000.
The cry of the Internet in 1995 was that anyone could have a Web page, have access to whatever content they wanted, and be in control of their online experience. Now that has come full-circle, after a detour through the swamp of commercialism and marketeering.
With the acquisition of the “cool” and “innovative” companies by the “old” New Media companies, will these new memes simply get subsumed by commercialism and marketeering?