Discussion regarding Independent Web has started almost ten years back. However, the term is not used anymore, that does not mean it is not relevant anymore. It is still an important topic to chat.
In the beginning, we must try to know from where the term has arrived and what is actually meant now-a-days. It is a matter of concern for business, web design and also marketing
What is Independent Web?
The term ‘Independent Web’ has been termed in 2010 by John Battelle. Through Identity and The Independent Web, Battelle has talked about loss of control over privacy, data and also decision making in addition to the search engines and social media.
Definition of Dependent Web
According to John Battelle, Dependent Web is “When we’re ‘on’ Facebook, Google, or Twitter, we’re plugged into an infrastructure that locks onto us, serving us content and commerce in an automated but increasingly sophisticated fashion. Sure, we navigate around, in control of our experience, but the fact is, the choices provided to us as we navigate are increasingly driven by algorithms modeled on the service’s understanding of our identity.”
Definition of Independent Web
Whereas, Independent Web is explained as “There is another part of the web, one where I can stroll a bit more at my own pace, and discover new territory, rather than have territory matched to a presumed identity. And that is the land of the Independent Web.”
It generally refers to search engines, websites and apps in 2010 that has not been tracking the activity of the user. However, lots of things have changed over last 10 years. Several websites that have been safe to use previously, may not be anymore.
Influence of the Dependent Web
Dependent Web is definitely not good for the users. In reality, it is also not fair at all. On the occasion, it is great to share some data. For example, Facebook has managed to connect us with long lost friends in spite of physical distance. In addition, likeminded people and communities can be found out also. For a personalized experience, user can share data and gain benefit from it.
However, there is a darker side of Dependent Web as well. Several things may be controlled on the occasion. Such as
Behavior: User’s data is sold to the advertisers. Through use of algorithm changes, sometime action of the user is altered also. Various websites and apps manipulate the user in order to take action as they want.
In EU, GDPR and in California CCPA is being used to safeguard data and privacy of the user. In spite of all these initiatives, personal data is exploited. Therefore, using personal data on the web has become a matter of concern.
Content and Branding
Dependent web generally decides who can see your content and who cannot. Benefits are taken from the traffic within the platform. Sometime, content is pulled out as they please also.
Through social media and search engine, business and marketing is done now also. Some of the content may be lost completely as the environment becomes saturated.
In addition, issues can be seen with the access and innovation as well.
How can you take back control from Dependent Web?
Several things are being done in order to ensure that the consumers are going to the independent web.
Consumer Privacy Protection: Both GDPR and CCPA have been placed to protect the privacy and personal data of the user.
Tech Regulation: CEO of Facebook and Twitter has been called for tech regulation by the Senate.
Public Awareness Initiative: Through movie like Social Dilemma, people are being alerted about the things behind the closed doors of social media.
Ad Blocker: Using the ad blockers, you can stay away from unwanted ads.
Private Search Engine: Search Engine Market is generally dominated by Google. Still, there are private search engines like Duck Duck Do that can be utilized to stay safe.