Clay Shirky -- Decoding P2P

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Hailstorm: Open Web Services Controlled by Microsoft
To an astonishing degree, Microsoft's Hailstorm relies on open standards like SOAP, Kerberos, and XML. But with typical audacity, MS also plans to centralize control of the system at critical junctures. May. 30, 2001

The P2P backlash has begun. Two articles published the same day cast doubt on P2P's viability as an industry, a technology, even a good idea. P2P is a sloppy idea, admits Clay Shirky, but a big one, and a very good one. Buzzphrase or not, something is happening here and we call it P2P. Apr. 5, 2001

Interoperability, Not Standards
"Whatever else you think about, think about interoperability. Don't think about standards yet." Nothing Clay Shirky said at the O'Reilly P2P conference has netted him more flak than that statement. Read what he really meant.  Mar. 15, 2001

P2P Smuggled In Under Cover of Darkness
2001 is the year peer-to-peer will make its real appearance in the enterprise, but most of it isn't going to come in the front door. It will be smuggled in, just like PCs were 20 years ago. Feb. 14, 2001

The Parable of Umbrellas and Taxicabs
When it rains, why is it easy to buy an umbrella, but next to impossible to hail a cab? As with P2P, some resources can be easily deployed to meet increased demand and some cannot.  Jan. 18, 2001

The Case Against Micropayments
With P2P providing a way to share or sell computer cycles, disk space, and bandwidth, micropayments -- those never-quite-ready-for-prime-time low-value transactions -- seemed prime to make a comeback. Forget about it. Micropayments won't ever work for one simple reason: users hate them. Dec. 19, 2000

Peers not Pareto
Is P2P Pareto Optimal -- where you can't improve someone's lot without hurting someone else? No, says Clay Shirky, and that's why freeriding is a non-issue. Dec. 15, 2000

In Praise of Freeloaders
Systems like MojoNation promise to fix the "problem" of freeloading. Trouble is, there's no trouble. P2P is not a Tragedy of the Digital Commons, it's a Cornucopia. Dec. 1, 2000

What Is P2P ... And What Isn't
P2P is not about computers acting as peers, writes Clay Shirky. It's about peers operating on the edge of the Internet, a place where IP addresses are transitory and connectivity is intermittent.  Nov. 24, 2000