Does More Innovation Mean Less Control?

Innovation in mobile computing, search and social media increasingly means taking control away from users.

Sat, March 16, 2013
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Take the example of Google Reader. You can complain to Google all you want about the loss of a user-controlled content stream and its replacement with algorithm-controlled streams. But ultimately Google is in the algorithm business. Its innovations, intellectual property, and trade secrets are Google's secret sauce -- the stuff that makes Google better than its competitors.

In other words, user control is nice, but there's no money in it.

If we as users want to maintain control, we're going to have to fight for it. And that fight starts with a full understanding of this larger trend to take control away.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and tech culture. Contact and learn more about Mike at You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on

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