The Super Distribution of Data

A recent article on ALA pronounced the proliferation of content aggregators such as RSS readers or mobile apps like Flipboard, as ‘the future super-distribution of content’. Readers want control over formatting, frequency of consumption and methods of sharing, and they're turning away from the content providers and using specialized tools that fit the uniform experience that they need.

For most of us, this is already a given truth, and looks like a rather obvious progression from previous technological advancements. However, at the same time, we also take for granted that the web applications we use for our day-to-day trade are contained silos, with their own special UIs and terminologies. Each of these contained silos holds a segment of our data, and forces us to sign in so we can view it, and to adapt to their idea of how to present our data to us.

Gradually, businesses are adopting data aggregators that simplify specific segments of their day to day work. For instance, a business that relies on PPC-based marketing, might start using a PPC management tool, from which to manage their entire ad spend from a single user interface. Now, they no longer have to sign in to multiple services, and cope with the varied complexities of each system.

With the adoption of such tools, comes a new expectation - that other aspects of their business be managed with the same simplicity. Each aspect of a business’s operation deserves a specific tool that would abstract away the complexities of the underlying systems. But then arises a new multiplicity of tools, which suffer from the same sorts of problems - multiple sign-ins, multiple UIs, and data that’s contained within specific apps, not usable anywhere else.

I propose a bigger revolution - one of a super-distribution of data at large. The principle logic behind this change is the recognition that building a truly one-stop-shop for any and every need of a business is unachievable. Instead, one should focus on enabling the distributed model, in which multiple complementing services are used in parallel. With this recognition in mind, I wouldn't suggest to anyone to try to replace the PPC management tool mentioned above, but to complement it by enabling it to communicate with other tools meant for other specific aspects of a business’s operation.

* This article is part of a business plan I decided to edit into a series of blog posts. You can find the rest of the content here