We are in the midst of two large related shifts in our computing platform both of which are tied to identity. The first shift, which often travels under the name Web 2.0, is fundamentally about what we use computers to do. We have moved from creating documents in Microsoft Office to living life online: searching on Google, buying and selling on eBay, hanging out with our friends on mySpace and Facebook, watching the newest viral video on YouTube or blasting out tweets on Twitter. These new intermediaries sit at the crossroads of the matching and coordination that define how we use the Internet today. The second shift, often called cloud computing, is more about a change in the organization of the fundamental processes of computing— computation and storage—with some overlap with the Web 2.0 shift. Instead of storing my email on my laptop, I will just outsource storage and store it with Google or another cloud-service provider. I won’t have an email product resident on my computer; instead, Google will provide an email service through a Web browser.
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