There are huge parallels betw the Internet and our planet.
Open formats and protocols are like the DNA of endangered species.
The proliferation of corporate networks is like the spreading of corporate everything from coffee to big box stores to airports. Sameness, lack of diversity, individuality withers. What makes life interesting fades away, conformity reigns.
But there still is art, even if most people don’t live artisitc lives. And you can still use the open Internet even if most people don’t.
Google owning Reader is bad for open stuff the same way it was bad that GM owned the public transit system of Los Angeles. It’s like the fox guarding the hen house. Read the story in Buzzfeed and see if the analogy holds.
It was strange reading Gruber’s account of the evolution of system scripting on the Mac, because all the diversity that was present as it was evolving is gone from his story. As if it never happened.
So the thing that matters on the net is choice. If you choose something other than what everyone else is using, you’re helping the net. You can still use the stuff everyone is using. But find a way to express yourself that’s unique and that you know has value. And when you do that you’re helping our intellectual and informational planet. And that probably can help the real planet too because if we’re communicating and sharing ideas and information, we’re better able to see problems, and perhaps find ways to solve them.
Freaking out isn’t going to help anything. Instead do the the opposite. Think, and act, and do something full of thought, for the Internet. Roll up your sleeves and do some good work.