My colleague Mariela popped into my office the other day: “Peter, when we talk cloud computing we should highlight something fundamental: it’s about making DATA more accessible/interoperable, more than making applications interoperable”.
In essence, she saw that Cloud computing is in essence about
Mariela is right on.
This is btw one of the big beliefs as well of Russell Daniels from HP, who was a speaker at our Innotribe @ Sibos. Short video interview with Russ below right after the cloud panel discussion:
Over the last couple of days, i found some more evidence on several blogs.
There are positive ways to proceed. Google, for example, a leader in cloud computing, has recently launched a specific project — The Data Liberation Front — explicitly including as a key facet the goal of making sure that users can quickly and easily export data from Google products. This ambitious and extremely important effort should be a model for the rest of the cloud computing industry.
See also Wolfram Alpha API to be released later today and the actual release page
And also the release of the WolframAlpha iPhone app:
My friend Peter Hinssen installed the iPhone app and tweeted yesterday this is the COOLEST thing he has ever seen.
Lots of writers have compared Alpha to Google, but I think that’s a mistake. it’s a data source, not a search engine, and that’s a significant difference. What matters with a data source is the ability to ask a question, get an answer back, and use it as easily as possible. An API minimizes the impedance mismatch: you can do computing directly with Alpha’s curated data.
But there’s another comparison that’s even more relevant: Twitter. What has made Twitter success isn’t so much the web application that lives at twitter.com. What has made Twitter valuable is the huge ecosystem that has grown up around that application: alternate clients for all sorts of platforms, web sites for searching, slicing, dicing, and remixing. Those have all been enabled by a simple and well-thought-out API for dealing with Twitter programmatically. The web isn’t about web pages; it’s about interactions between data sources.
Some other newcomers on the scene:
Good Data raises $2.5M for business intelligence by Andreessen Horowitz, the firm run by Netscape billionaire Mark Andreessen. Btw the same firm is one of the candidates for acquiring Skype, but the Skype founders don’t seem to like it very much. Have a look at the great video on Gooddata’s homepage.
There is Factual.
Factual wants to be the center of the web’s open data. Not a minor detail: Elbaz, who co-founded Applied Semantics and sold it to Google, has self-funded the company. Well-known technology commentator and investor Esther Dyson recently joined Factual’s advisory board. Also Nova Spivack blogged about Factual here. Nova Spivack and Ester Dyson are two of the smartest people when it comes to semantic web and new technologies
And Techcrunch Erik Schonfeld had a blog as well last week. With a link to a great video:
This is like Wikipedia but then for structured data ! It not about mashing-up user interfaces anymore. The next web is about being able to source good data sources and mash them up.
Imagine if we would start using this for all sort of financial services.
Semantic data/web will definitely be a topic for Innotribe @ Sibos 2010 in Amsterdam. Book already the dates in your calendars: 25-29 Oct 2010.