Is Internet 2.0 Around The Corner?
The inventor of the internet is not happy. No, I’m not talking about a crabby Al Gore. 🙂 Instead I’m referring to the actual inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee. In case you haven’t heard of him, he’s the British-born MIT Professor who wrote the source code that created the actual internet – so he’s sort of a big deal. These days Mr. Berners-Lee isn’t thrilled with what his baby has grown up to be, and is ready to do something about it.
The original dream of the internet was an open information super-highway where individuals could control what they’re exposed to and what they share in a free and unlimited environment. In contrast, today’s digital ecosystem is controlled by a few increasingly-powerful publishers who profit from selling ads and data in a marketplace they dominate. Berners-Lee doesn’t like the current state of things, and has a plan to create a new internet where individuals control the market.
The new platform, code named Inrupt (screen shot below), is a decentralized version of the internet where each user creates a profile which they totally control. Think of it as a browser which can still access Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., but without forced ads or data sharing requirements. Berners-Lee has been working over the past year with a VC fund and plans to launch Inrupt sometime in 2019.
So will Inrupt eventually replace the internet? Keep in mind that when he launched the original internet there was literally nothing – so people started using the internet from scratch. But now we’re all used to the existing internet, which means Inrupt will need to disrupt an existing system (hence the name). This will be really interesting to watch unfold.