Siloed Content

Those big round vertical things that they store grain in. That’s a silo. Well, lo and behold, it turns out that “silo” is also a verb. It means “to separate”. If something has been “siloed”, it has been separated from the rest of the world. Which makes good sense, given what a silo does with the grain. It separates it from the rest of the world.

In yesterday’s post, I discussed the Open Web, and posted a link to a blog article by a fellow who discusses siloed content and the open web in a very thoughtful manner.

Here’s that link again: http://scripting.com/liveblog/users/davewiner/2016/01/07/0801.html

That word, “siloed”, only appeared in my world in the last few years. And the context it appeared in was quite unlike the one from that blog. I’d get .pdf files of big graphical payloads from an associate. Sometimes, the big graphical payload would be floating freely over nothing but transparency. But sometimes, there would be a white background, right there in the same layer as the payload. Removing the white background would be easy in theory, but because of all the half-payload-half-background pixels around the payload – the edges were almost impossible to clean. So I’d ask for a file with just the payload over a transparent background – when I learned that the easy way to ask for that was to have the payload “siloed”

Well, I’ve known about silos by whole life. Those big round vertical things that they store grain in. That’s a silo. Well, lo and behold, it turns out that “silo” is also a verb. It means “to separate”. If something has been “siloed”, it has been separated from the rest of the world. Which makes good sense, given what a silo does with the grain. It separates it from the rest of the world.

In the blog article linked to above, the author uses the term “siloed” to describe content that has been cut off from the open web. Separated. Behind a login, behind membership at a certain site, behind a paywall, behind anything that “separates” it from the open web. Quite unlike this website you’re reading now, you see – if you have access to the web, you can see this site. Quite frankly, I can’t imagine this particular site being of use to anyone if it was siloed. What would be the point? I’m putting this out there for anyone, in the entire world, and if they’re interested, and they’re on the web – they can have at it. 100% unsiloed.

I’ve never been very interested in working in any of the siloed parts of the web. One of the fun things about the web is figuring out what Joe Web Surfer might get turned on by. When you’re building in a silo, you’re not dealing with Joe Web Surfer any more. You’re dealing with someone who you know a great deal about, simply because they have access to the silo.

And this is where the modern capability to put 3D content on the Open Web is really catching my attention. Back in the days of Cosmo Player and VRML, there was a serious silo going on. Geeks who were fascinated with 3D stuff might well install Cosmo Player. Everybody else, was outside the silo. When you made something that required Cosmo Player to work, you siloed your content away from, well, almost everyone. And then when Cosmo Player died, your silo, and everything in it, was lost.

But that is not the way the web works any more. Requirements for plugins are not to be tolerated. Even Google will tell you flat out in the Webmaster Tools interface, that your site required the use of plugins, and they state up front they’re gonna punish you for that, and encourage you to find some way to deploy your stuff in a way that doesn’t require plugins. So it can work in every browser, in every device, now and for the forseeable future. Google, it appears, cares about the Open Web too.

As well they should, given the line of business they’re in.

And that’s the exciting thing about all these OpenGL frameworks that are available now.

3D stuff on the open web.

No plugin.

No silo.

 

 

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Author: Pete

Editor-in-Chief, Lead Software Developer and Artistic Director @ 3dspace.com

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