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The Non-Hierarchical Web

March 7th, 2005 · No Comments

David Galbraith writes:

It seems like a small thing, but day after day I can’t help thinking that there is a distinct pattern to the business model of things such as the Associated Press going more and more down the route of using open syndication rather than traditional distribution partners.

Wikipedia vs. Brittanica
Writer Branded Blogs vs. Media Brands
Tags vs. Taxonomies
Slashdot vs. Peer Review
Metacritic vs. Critic

What all these things do is place ordinary people or individual nuggets of information as nodes in a non-hierarchical web rather than a series of disconnected pyramid hierarchies.

The way the web looks to the end user, the way it looks to publishers and the way it works in terms of money flow are starting to look the same as the underlying technology – a non hierarchical web.

And the really interesting thing about webs, is that is how the real word works – things that look like hierarchies, like species taxonomies are in fact snapshot renderings of a non-hierarchical web.

David Weinberger has more about taxonomies and tags.

Tags: BlogStreet

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