Data in One or Two Places: What Could Go Wrong?

July 11, 2018

Silos of data have become the term du jour for many folks thinking about search and machine learning. By piling all that info into one convenient place, we can accomplish amazing feats. However, as those silos get larger and start gobbling up smaller silos, what are we left with? This was a concern brought up in a recent Tech Dirt think piece, “The Death of Google Reader and the Rise of Silos.”

According to the story:

“Many people have pointed to the death of Google Reader as a point at which news reading online shifted from things like RSS feeds to proprietary platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It might seem odd (or ironic) to bemoan a move by one of the companies now considered one of the major silos for killing off a product…”

While this piece holds a pseudo-funeral for Google Reader and, somewhat poignantly, points that this is the downfall of the Internet it overlooks the value of silos. Maybe it’s not all so bad?

That’s what one commentator for the Daily Journal pointed out remarking on the amount of innovation that has come about as a result of these mega silos. Clearly, there’s no perfect balance and we suspect your opinion on silos depends on what industry you are in.

Federation of information seems like a good idea. But perhaps it is even better when federation occurs in two or three online structures? If data are online, those date are accurate. That’s one view.

Patrick Roland, July 11, 2018

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