Cloud-computing may (better can) forge a new model of networked society merging the features of mass media system and networks into a Concentrated Networks Model.
The very difference between the property-model in Mass Society and non-property model of Network Society is the possibility to easly duplicate information, allowed by low-cost technology potentially available to all. This duplication permits to have multiple copies of contents and, according to researchers and experts, this reduce the risk of a centralized control on the broadcasted information. Anyway, this principle works until storage is distribuited and a content is duplicated and stored separately and locally.
Cloud computing reintroduces mass society variables in a new contest:
- Centrality. Contents return to be stored centrally. Even if servers have a network structure, the maintanance of that server farms is managed beyond the individual control.
- Cost barriers. Cloud architecture requires high investment. This mean that only enterprises or governments can implement cloud services. In both cases, the architechture will be held by a restrict number of actors.
- Copyright. Many of nowdays cloud service companies require users to transfer the right to use of contents they upload.
It’s evident that the players’ strategy is to reduce the local storage in order to benefit the cloud one. Chrome book integrated to Google Drive and Google Apps is an attempt straighted to this way. Microsoft, after realising Office Live, is going to introduce office suite for mobile based on the live suite. New Windows8, furthermore, is designed to be much more network oriented and cloud-based than previous releases.
What we can easly see in the nex years, is a less networked society even if networking technologies will play a big role. The new model (less and less peer-to-peer) will concentrate again the information storage and flow into fews big players. Network architectures will be more and more hub based. This means that in order to take action on the net, we will be required to pass through a hub or a cluster in order to connect and reach another user. Hereby, the cluster-owner may decide to grant or not the access and to decide who and how will be able to do. If you think the recent Facebook and LinkedIN’s downservice, It’s easy to understant what if a player will decide to inhibit the access to certain contents.
This post aims to open a discussion on the impact of the cloud computing on the networked society. According to you, how cloud computing will change the network society scenario?