The BalkanizedWeb is a polemical name for the world wide web. It suggests that domains are fiefdoms owned by elite individuals and organizations. The name points out how hard it is to add value to webpages that are owned by others. For example, if the casual web surfer spots a speling error on they are powerless to correct it. All speling errors on are owned by another.

Furthermore, it is impossible to point out factual errors or biases in news stories that are part of the fiefdom. You can’t attach important information right where it belongs. The news that your new mp3 player was broken out of the box and that the manufacturer won’t replace it for you should go directly on the product page for that particular mp3 player, but instead you have to go to some third party site and hope that others interested in the player will find your tidbit.

Contrast the BalkanizedWeb with the OverlayWeb that turns on EditMode? for the entire world wide web.

I totally agree with everything you’ve said above. And I also have another perspective concerning blogs. I can write something on my blog and assuming I enable the tools and you do too, you can respond on your blog and a link to your response shows up on my blog. I own my words. You own your words. We can have a conversation that’s not owned by either one of us or by a 3rd party. I know you’re not into idea ownership. Not sure how you get around the fact that a website is owned by someone. You and I are having this conversation thanks to CommunityWiki offering the space. Anyway, I’m getting off track. The point is that if individual site owners want to start to break down the BalkanizedWeb, the beginnings are there. We can go much further. PurpleNumbers go in that direction, I think. I wish there was a way to allow you to correct the spelling mistakes in my blog posts. Maybe there is if you get a log-in and I give you the authority. Not very open, I admit.

I’d also add that- part of the PassagesOfPerspective is that people need safe places to not be interrupted by outsiders.

A bunch of humanists are going to get together, and want to talk. They need to lock out outsiders who want to point out the error of their ways, so that they can hold a decent conversation amongst themselves.

Now if a particular group of outsiders wants to set up a collective WebAnnotation for themselves, and comment on what they see going on there, that’s another thing. But the humanists will want a space that is uniquely their own, that they control.

I strongly doubt that there will be one OverlayWeb. There will be thousands, millions. Groups will comment on what they see, and share what they see with their members.

Just moved text from OverlayWeb to WebAnnotation and will see how far I get refactoring in other conversations as well.

People are starting to understand the “static” WWW – where each individual (and corporation) owns a web site, has total control over it, and can link to any other web page in the world. No one else can change that web site, although anyone in the world can read it.

I feel this is a big step forward compared to organizing information such that only “authorized” people are allowed to read it.

Further improvements are possible, although sometimes it seems that people don’t even understand that much – such as people who get upset at incoming “deep linking”, or who create “dead-end” sites that have no outgoing links, or who have “free registration”, or who want your email for “document-control” so they can email you if there are any changes to the document.

For example, someone on the original wiki commented, :“Cross-linking could be a sensitive subject - most people running websites don’t want people leaving, especially to sites that are probably and usually inferior. Is linking off site good taste? On-page syndication of the last n changes from SisterSites might be feasible where linking isn’t.”

This seems incomprehensible to me, especially when thinking about “people running websites” such as Google and SlashDot. (I suppose it makes a little more sense when I think about the Ford or Chevy or Wal-Mart or IBM websites … but I can’t imagine any webmaster really believing that once a person finds his web site, that person should never visit any other sites, ever).

I’ve seen something reminiscent of an “overlay”. One web site appears to link to some other web site. But when I click the link, that other web site appears inside a “frame” generated by the original web site. When that frame is controlled by a single person (or a single corporation), it’s generally regarded as annoying.

OK, I’m done ranting now.


Define external redirect: EditMode

EditNearLinks: SlashDot