"If this is the information age, then information has value," says Ernst. "And if it has value, how come everybody has it but us? Facebook has our friends, Google has our email, Flickr has our pictures--everyone has our data that we created, but we don't actually have control over it ourselves."
With the Snowden revelations came a heightened awareness of the mechanisms that power the web. As the cover of those mechanisms were lifted, the web collectively gasped- we didn't like what we saw.
Still, very little was done.
Many of us who consider ourselves web purists dream of a decentralized internet, a place where our data is our own, where no one's using it to turn a gargantuan profit. We've gotten our hopes up before with the likes of Diaspora and App.net, but those endeavours never quite took off (certainly not enough to threaten the Googles or Facebooks of the world).
Perhaps the timing was off. Perhaps those ventures simply weren't ambitious enough.
So what if the timing were right? And what if a few rebellious souls determined to change the game not only had the necessary ambition, but the knowledge and the talent to put that ambition to use?
Well, then, we might see something like the picture Will Bourne paints in today's piece.