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January 22, 2010
Information Storms Gather in the 'Clouds'

Here's another cutting-edge piece about computer-powered developments that could change the way we experience the world and develop our intellects. We aim to have you out there -- this time up in the "clouds."

Cloud computing, says Charles Leadbeater in a meaty article in The Guardian, is just revving up, but what a difference it can -- and likely will -- make for experiencing information.

"The Internet, our relationship with it, and our culture," Leadbeater writes, "are about to undergo a change as profound and unsettling as the development of Web 2.0 in the last decade, which made social media and search -- Google and YouTube, Facebook and Twitter -- mass, global phenomena."

"The rise of 'cloud computing' will trigger a battle for control over a digital landscape that is only just coming into view." 

From an earlier, decentralized Internet network, cloud computing routs information through "a vast shared 'cloud' of data and software. These clouds, supported by huge server farms all over the world, will allows us to access data from many devices, not just computers; [it will enable us] to use programs only when we need them and to share expensive resources such as servers more efficiently."

With the rise of cloud computing, Leadbeater warns, comes "cloud capitalism."

"Whose clouds will these be?"  Apple has already created a  music cloud through the iTunes Store. Google and others won't be far behind. Who will have the keys to the great Internet libraries up in the clouds of the information future?

Leadbeater's thoughtful piece includes much more, including his proposed five points toward an "Open Cloud Declaration." Read it to wrap your minds around where we are heading "up in the clouds." It's drawn a lot of comments already.












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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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