Internet walled-gardens ARE a good idea

Given the growing risks of being connected to the Internet it’s becoming more advisable to connect to those particular services that one wants and exclude the rest.  This idea runs counter to a lot of marketing approaches from several companies/products, for example Droid.

The Droid vs iPhone marketing plan is to show that Droid is open and can do anything.  That message will resonate with some people, but the great unwashed masses don’t write computer programs and aren’t network security savvy.  They get sucked into the idea that they can do anything with their phone without risk or responsibility for maintenance.  The tag line should have a disclaimer “Droid can” then add “provided you trust the authors of 3rd party apps or do your own source code review and network connection analysis.”

People are already acclimated the walled-garden concept and have used it effectively in other parts of their lives.  Thousands of people go to Disney World every day.  They are willing to pay the premium admission price to get a known vacation experience.  Is that bad?  Is Disney evil? No, of course not.  There’s a selection of people who don’t want to plan, coordinate, and book their own vacation using unknown hotels, restaurants, and attractions.  The same is true for homes.  Some people prefer to live in gated communities or in housing developments with home-owners associations.

There are people who enjoy being unfettered in all part of their life, who go camping for vacations and do all their own work (tenting, cooking, cleaning, etc.)  There is a great sense of self-reliance and accomplishment when you do things for yourself and people who enjoy the work and understand the risks win great self-satisifaction from these activities.

The problem is that not everyone can hike the Grand Canyon for a week or sail the west coast of South America by themselves.  The same holds true for the Internet.  Not everyone can protect themselves from crime, fraud, and poorly written software. Buying a product that has access to a walled-garden (iPad for example) is an appropriate way to experience the Internet in a more protected way.

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