Archive for the tag 'Points of Control'

Jaimey Walking Bear

UPDATE: The webcast was a great success. Thank you to all who participated!

Please join John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly for a free Webcast – “Points of Control: The Battle for the Internet Economy” on October 27 at 1pm PT.

More than any time in the history of the Web, incumbents in the network economy are consolidating their power and staking new claims to key points of control. It’s clear that the internet industry has moved into a battle to dominate the Internet Economy.


John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly will debate and discuss these shifting points of control as the board becomes increasingly crowded. They’ll map critical inflection points and identify key players who are clashing to control services and infrastructure as they attempt to expand their territories. They’ll also explore the effect these chokepoints could have on people, government, and the future of technology innovation.

Join us for this live broadcast taking place just weeks before Web 2.0 Summit begins and contribute to this important conversation. Be sure to visit the Points of Control map to see how John and Tim are visualizing the lay of the internet landscape.

ws-webcast-infoAccess to this webcast is available to registered participants at no cost. In order to provide you with this free service, you may receive additional information about Web 2.0 Summit and other events produced by O’Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb.

Jaimey Walking Bear

We want to thank everyone for your continued engagement with our popular Web 2.0 Summit Points of Control map. Every comment and point of  participation from each of you helps make it that much richer in content and experience! To celebrate the launch of the new Acquisition Mode on the map, we want to give you the chance to win a seat at Web 2.0 Summit 2010. The idea is simple – if you comment and/or give us your thoughts on industry acquisitions you’d like to see, you could win.

How it Works

  • Between now and October 27, visit the Points of Control map
  • Leave your comments on the map and  your acquisition suggestions in Acquisition Mode
  • On November 1 we’ll be choosing and posting our favorite comments and acquisition suggestions on a special page on this blog.
  • Look for that dedicated contest page here on the Web 2.0 Summit Blog during the week of November 1, and ending November 7
  • Vote for your favorite in each category. So two chances to win!
  • The top vote getter in each category wins a free pass to Web 2.0 Summit 2010!

NOTE: Make sure that when you sign up to post comments to the map, that we can contact you via Twitter or Facebook. We’ll be notifying the winners directly via those means on November 2.

Check back to this blog for more information as this contest unfolds. Good luck!


As themes for conferences go, Points of Control is one of our favorites. Our industry over the past year has been driven by increasingly direct conflicts between its major players: Apple has emerged as a major force in mobile and advertising platforms; Google is fighting off Microsoft in search, Apple in mobile and Facebook in social; and Facebook itself finds itself on the defensive against Twitter and scores of location startups like Foursquare.

Nor are the Internet’s biggest players the only ones in the game – the rise of tablet computing has revived nearly every major hardware and handset manufacturer, and the inevitable march of online payment and commerce has roused the financial services giants as well. You know we’re in interesting times when American Express is considered an insurgent in its own industry.

The narrative is so rich, it struck us that it lends itself to a visualization – a map outlining these points of control, replete with incumbents and insurgents – those companies who hold great swaths of strategic territory, and those who are attempting to gain ground, whether they be startups or large companies moving into new ground. Inspired in part by board games like Risk or Stratego, and in part by the fantastic and fictional lands of authors like Tolkien and Swift, we set out to create at least an approximation of our industry’s vibrant economy. (And yes, we give a hat tip to the many maps out there in our own industry, like this one for social networks).

The result of our initial efforts is pictured above, you can go to the complete map here. We very much consider this to be “for your consideration,” an initial sketch of sorts, a conversation piece that we hope will garner a bit of your cognitive surplus. In other words, we designed the map so you can give it input and make it better. Over time, we plan to revise the visualization, adding various layers of companies and trends.

But you have to start somewhere. We put a stake in the ground by declaring a number of key “points of control” and visualizing them as land masses.

From top to bottom, and in reasonably defensible order: We start with the Clouds of Infrastructure, securing the top of the map. We then cross the Oceans of OS and UI to The Platform Plateau, where you’ll find those aforementioned hardware players. From there you’ll see two major “continents” of service providers, groups of companies that leverage cloud, OS/UI, and hardware platforms to deliver the services we now take for granted.

The continent on the left consists of location, social, identity and activity stream services. On the right is the continent of search, commerce, and content services. If you feel like the two are interrelated, you’re certainly not alone. We had to fight the temptation to create a Pangea, if only for aesthetic purposes.

Below the service layer is what might be called the firmament of marketing – the SubContinent of Advertising Platforms that have provided much of the oxygen to the networked economy so far. And off to the right of that is Enterprise Island, an important land mass to be sure, but one that could certainly command its own map (and may well, in time).

All these masses interact with each other, a fact you will see by the various arrows indicating how owners of one territory – Apple in Mobile, for example – are pushing into new strategic points of control – Apple in advertising platforms, for example.

Built on top of Google’s map API, this initial map has two layers of detail. Zooming in from the initial view one can see a second layer where more details emerge, including pods of insurgents headed for the beaches of various territories. We’ve also thrown in a few jokes, to keep things light, and encourage you to add yours in comments.

In the coming weeks, we plan to add a game of sorts – we’ll be asking you to lay out which companies the incumbents should be buying as they circle each other across this landscape. From the tiny to the massive, we’d like to see who you think will be snatched up next.

For now, we know that we have certainly missed things – probably a lot of things. And no doubt our initial choices of players, and the amount of territory they control, is worthy of debate (as is, most likely, our sense of humor). That’s why we want your input. We’ve created a commenting layer throughout the map, and we will be incorporating your input into future revisions. We’re not happy with the name for the Location Based Services territory, for example, and we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with the carriers (who isn’t!?).

We’ve put the entire map under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means we want you to take this idea and add to it, making it better. Once our amazing development partners at Blend Interactive catch their breath, we also plan to release the code and documentation, so you can create your own maps as well.

Our thanks to the team at Blend who worked with me to bring this vision to reality, and to Janetti Chon, my producer, who kept it on track, and the entire team at Web 2.0 for bearing with us as we brought this first iteration to fruition.

We hope you enjoy “Points of Control” and add to it with a comment of your own. Also, bring the conversation to Twitter using hashtag #w2smap. We’ll be listening!

Creative Commons License
Points of Control: The Map by Web 2.0 Summit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Jaimey Walking Bear

john-battelle-left-1With more than half a billion people actively using its service, Facebook clearly owns the dominant position in the crucial point of control we’ve come to call The Social Graph. Regardless of controversy, the company’s Open Graph protocol has been widely adopted, solidifying Facebook’s lead in social, and positioning the company to challenge Google’s dominance in both ad networks and search.

Google is certainly aware of the threat, and is both bolstering its Buzz offering and, according to many, preparing an all out response to Facebook code-named Google Me. Meanwhile, Twitter has consolidated its grip on what it calls the “Interest Graph,” a public version of the social graph based on what people are doing (and where). Twitter’s advertising platform, Promoted Tweets and Trends, is showing early promise, and will be rolled out to third party developers shortly.

Web giants Microsoft and Yahoo are taking different paths. Though in an advertising partnership with Facebook, Microsoft has yet to declare its social graph strategy — some believe its Xbox Live and IM platforms will play central roles. Yahoo has gone all in with Facebook, integrating the Open Graph deep into its massive site.

Insurgents and upstarts are eager to join the fray, with location based social networks such as Foursquare and Gowalla hoping to become the next big thing in social. And don’t forget the international players — TenCent, Baidu, and DST hold dominant positions outside the US.

At Web 2.0 Summit this year, we’ll discuss the social graph as a strategic territory. We’ll also cover related points of control such as mobile platforms, distribution, identity services and payment systems, location services, data transport, and advertising. Join the leaders of the Network economy in a three day conversation that promises to once again set the agenda for our ever-changing and fascinating industry. Request an invitation today and secure your seat.

Our Best,
John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly and the Web 2.0 Summit Team