The Internet has a public side. It’s composed of instant messages, blogs, wiki entries, e-mail, all sorts of things. It is not composed of corporate web sites, static web pages, or one-way interaction. The public web has institutions, but they are public institutions.

For example, the FreeSoftware / OpenSource movement. Or “KDE,” which is a huge public institution making a free desktop. It’s public. And the legion bloggers out there. And wiki communities, like the one I am writing to right now.

Some features of ThePublicWeb:

There are countless other attributes of this idea, “The Public Web.”

Wiki and ThePublicWeb

Wiki is a part of the public web. Specificly, it’s the document facility of ThePublicWeb. (WikiIsDocumentBased.) It is improved by a PublicRefineryProcess, working through several DegreesOfEditorialControl.

See Also


PublicWebJune2004Map CategoryInterCommunity


I realize that this is a ShallowPage. I’m not sure that it’s really “saying” anything.

However, I felt that we need some sort of term for this thing- the public web. And, since it’s a new word, should have some sort of definition. We also want to be able to attach concepts to it. So, here it is. ThePublicWeb.

There are some ambiguities here.

  • ThePublicWeb is not necessarily about the WorldWideWeb. It includes IM, email, all that stuff. “Web” implies interconnection here.
  • ThePublicWeb still features static pages. It’s just that those static web pages are still modifiable, by talking with the people involved. They are hard pages, but not hard pages that can’t be changed.

I have found that, in myself, I feel a certain loyalty to what I am calling ThePublicWeb, that goes far beyond my loyalty to, say, the USA, or even to Seattle. (And I’m pretty loyal to Seattle.)

I feel like, for better or worse, an Internet Person, and a citizen of the world. I am enthusiastic about seeing French, German, Japanese, all these languages on the Internet. I find myself protective of “The Internet,” even

Is there already a Meatball term describing this idea?

Is this the first Public Web media coverage?,3605,1182809,00.html

(They got Wikitravel in there, too. Yay!)

EditNearLinks: CategoryInterCommunity OpenSource WorldWideWeb FreeSoftware