This quick search shows that the search for alternatives within Internet is happening on different levels (social, political, strategically and technically) but does still not satisfy its users.
I just wondered whether there is already a thought about alternatives for Internet. With ‘alternative’ I mean delivering information exchange in a different way than the www platform. Let’s compare this with transport: if you want to go from A to B, you can use a car. If the distance is affordable you can use the bike. Otherwise you can take the train or of course the plane. So there are plenty of alternatives, depending on your wish how fast, how comfortable or how aware you want to reach B. I know that getting all these alternatives took a long time and depended on the existing circumstances. Therefore the question how to find alternatives for Internet or to speak about a post-www period might be too early and superfluous.
Whatever it is! It is a just question. Let’s find out what is offered. Searching with keywords like ‘alternative internet’, ‘alternative search’, ‘alternative directory’, ‘alternative web’ gives an impression of what is understood by this. The results could be categorized under three headers: socio-political, strategic-economics and web based alternatives. Treating them one by one will give a short impression of these categories.
Socio-political means all the sites which title themselves alternative as the information provided by them is seen as belonging to one of the social depressed, isolated, censured or empowered groups. According to the organizers of these sites, the market oriented Internet offers not enough place for ‘other’ voices. These sites are actually directly connected to the existing ‘alternative’ on social level. They describe themselves as ‘a progressive and alternative directory featuring a search engine and topics relating to spirituality, holistic health, the mind and enlightening ideas’, ‘the information in this directory is taken from annotations -a guide to the independent critical press, published by the Alternative Press Center.’ or ‘''environmentalists On-Line - green alternative internet service provider…’
The group strategic-economics includes the field of national policy and business competition. They could be treated separately, but in case of the contemporary stand of Internet the two are mixed. This is because all the big search engines are USA based and seen as a part of USA domination over the world; ‘fight’ against what is called ‘American hegemony’ at the level of information means also a ‘fight’ against Google, Yahoo and MSN. We also see on the national level the competitors of USA attempting to get their own search engines in effort to break the power of USA. The Europe Union has started to invest money to make Quaero to its own search engine; the Chinese government has announced plans to introduce several Chines-language Internet domains with purpose to get more view on cyber world and break USA monopoly to control the domain names.
Last but not least, web based alternatives have more to do with reorganizing the Internet once again. The players are from different backgrounds. In fact the search for creating an Internet outside the big players existed right from the beginning. The DMOZ project that is controlled by thousands of free human editors is the first popular example. The latest of such a voluntarily ruled example is Wikipedia. DMOZ became not what it hoped; this is partly caused by its contacts to the big search engines. How it will end with Wikipedia we will see. Another development is the upcoming of topic oriented directories and search engines and search engines based on user profiles. Although not popular enough this could have a future. Others are trying to introduce new extensions to restructure the domain names. Maybe the most interesting development could be seen again within the borders of Google. If the news are true, Google itself is building its own alternative Internet: “Google is working on a project to create its own global internet protocol (IP) network, a private alternative to the internet controlled by the search giant...” On the other hand there is the mobile telephony sector which has tried different systems to integrate additional information to mobile phones. Till now they haven’t invented a proper one. This process will go on and it might happen that a real alternative comes from these operations: it could offer more light, more compact, more mobility and more private information. All this ad words are typical symbols of modern life.
This quick search shows that the search for alternatives within Internet is happening on different levels (social, political, strategically and technically) but does still not satisfy its users. Until this is not the case, till the power distribution and needs are not settled downBusiness Management Articles, it is probably a bit early to speak about alternatives for Internet.