Cloud Portability

You is everywhere. Ubiquitous, yet with different levels of thickness depending on platforms and contexts. A change of temperature, and parts of your cloud precipitate into big drops for everyone to look and feel.

You is the marrow of the backbone. The bread earner for a Google or a Facebook, maybe a former unwilling employee of a Yahoo! or a MySpace.

You is stuck in a net, hooked, dependent. You has the mother of all monkeys on you's back. You can't kick the habit. You can't see a future without the virtual past you amassed over the years.

You probably doesn't remember Tripod, the killer app of yore. Picture this: a customized homepage, featuring whatever you fancy about you...

You, online.

Tripod joined Lycos (yeah, go-get-it Lycos, a star of the silent internet times - limited colors, dial-up, only background track the faxlike connection), and followed its master to Germany (Bertelsmann), Spain (Telefonica), and Korea (Daum). Now both brands belong to Ybrant Digital (India). Tripod fetches domain names for the digital marketing group. Unlike most internet ventures, Tripod took some time to deserve its brand: is still walking around, but with a cane. At least, they're making a few bucks with the brand. Yahoo! totally euthanized Geocities.

I'm not digressing. Lycos was the first netco to make a decent living. And the most disruptive moment I remember about Tripod is when they announced the portability of homepages. Competition remained one click away, but you could switch with all your belongings.

Social network portability is much more complex. Friendships and synapses reach beyond simple pages or links. But we'll have to get there some day.

And who knows, 20 years from now, some South Sudanese venture shall sell capacity under the brand Facebook.

mot-bile 2012

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