“But they haven’t shown the web itself the respect and care it deserves, as a medium which has enabled them to succeed. And they’ve now narrowed the possibilites of the web for an entire generation of users who don’t realize how much more innovative and meaningful their experience could be.”

The Web We Lost - Anil Dash

@anildash commercial businesses don’t care for the web if it doesn’t directly serve them. What we web snobs need to do is put our heads together in order to figure it out how to make the mobile web disrupt apps quicker than will happen organically. It would make a great unconference in fact. 

What we web snobs need to do is take action because it’s the right thing to do and because we care about it, rather than because it could be a commercial business. 10 years ago I remember being so excited everytime I talked to people because of the cool projects that they were working on -because they were cool. My mind would be constantly racing about how these things could work together. A decade of every pitch being followed up by some dick in the crowd asking “whats the business model” has changed that and now everytime I talk to someone they tell me about their business rather than project, they tell me how it will make money rather than what good it will do. We need an organization or a foundation or a fucking credo that tells people it’s OK to spend time and effort on things that are good for the web rather than things that might be valuable to investors. Better than OK, it’s required. We need something in place that tells investors and companies that if they want this thing to continue they have to invest in it’s future. I don’t know what that looks like, but I want more than anything to see people build things because they think they are cool again, rather than because they think they could get some traction in the app store.

Rafer sez:
@seanbonner That’s all well and good; and we worked our asses off at Lumatic to deliver our maps as mobile web instead of map in order to walk the walk. We failed and moved to an app 13 months ago. It still hurts.

None of the original for-profit Web2 teams (Flickr, The RSS pile of people, even little MyBlogLog, etc.), did what we did for the health of the web. We were too close to it, too focused on our core mission, and just saw great, fast distribution. We wanted our projects out there and didn’t invest time in much else. Ugly, but true. Not even MoveableType did what they did for the “health of the internet,” Anil’s lovely words notwithstanding.

His lovely words are also a bit off the mark IMO. The app economies were a necessary step to bring the mobile Internet to consumer scale, but it’s been over five years — now we’re just capitulating. I include myself in that accusation. It’s time to do what’s necessary to build huge new businesses

PUNCHLINE: We need a public, open and angry cartel of mobile yeomen (yeopeople?) to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to accelerate the top-heaviness that will eventually make the app economies break under their own weight. I choose Cartel intentionally as it is a word with negative connotations, and this is definitely a nice-guys-finish-last situation.We need to worry about the business models of the resulting projects, so they benefit from a ton of re$ource$ if necessary. Sencha is proof of life in this fight, but they shouldn’t be the only ones.

NBpersonal: I’m all-hat, no-cattle in this situation for now. Democratizing maps for the next billion smartphone owners and daddying my three year olds is my limit for core projects. I am making (and leading) my first tech angel investment, which is specifically a mobile web commerce deal, but that’s dedication not commitment per my favorite fable.

NBproduct: Since Anil’s post, I’ve started to get the germ of an idea as well. It’s one of a half-dozen things the Cartel should do. First, I find it obvious that the app economy wave will break on the Android rather than iOS side (unless FirefoxOS goes crazy great). Second, I hold that the sideloading of Android apps via third-party app stores is the Analog Hole of the entire scheme. Given the hundreds of third-party Android app stores, why are NONE of them actually interesting? Where is the app store whose front end is P2P and/or supports apps that use true internet hyperlinking between apps and/or …. It’s just a brainstorm at the moment but there’s a pony in there somewhere. 

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