Posted on March 2nd, 2010 at 8:10 AM by Wan
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“walled garden” to refer to such an administrative domain defined by a service provider. Because each walled garden controls its own set of users and employs a different access-control mechanism to protect personal content, it is difficult to share personal content beyond walled gardens. – San-Tsai Sun, Kirstie Hawkey, and Konstantin Beznosov. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Its main limitation is that not all the desired content users are necessarily registered with the corresponding Application Service Provider (ASP); and thus, users outside of that ASP cannot be granted selective access. Even within the same walled garden, the resource requester and owner might not be known to each other, increasing the challenge of controlled sharing for both the owners and consumers of content. To share personal content with unknown users, one possible solution is to adopt a distributed authorization system that support the notion of trust and delegation, which provides a flexible way for a user to delegate authority to another user who is in a better position for defining attributes of other users.

With a blog in a walled garden, I don’t think you’re ever going to get the same kind of discussion and connections as you would with a blog exposed to the outside world. However, a walled garden blog can be a space for reflective learning, a journal of observations and personal growth. In many respects, this would be the same as if students kept a running journal in a Word document. A blog gives a chance to share the learning at least with others in a class though, and to get some peer feedback and encouragement. Even sharing with a limited audience changes how you write and reflect, maybe not to the same degree as sharing in a public online space, but somewhat. It changes your motivation when you know you’re not just writing for the facilitator but for your peers as well. I’ve read how some online instructors have seen positive pressure to perform when some students write really well. If a few students set the bar for quality high, then others will often rise to meet that level. A completely private journal doesn’t provide that extra motivation.

One good example is Facebook. Until 2009, Facebook had a walled garden strategy: “Attract everyone to Facebook, where they would transact and we would learn more about them.” They wanted to take over the world by attracting the world to them. Facebook is one of the stickiest sites in the world, measured by length of time people spend on it. They reversed that strategy in December 2009 with the change in privacy, and they are opening the wall to push private content to the Web, where Google can access it and get Facebook more exposure (and advertising revenue). In typical form, Facebook didn’t give members much choice as some content was reclassified (i.e. friends are now public). Facebook is still struggling with converting its tremendous stickiness to revenue. It is much more likely to acquire others. Its recent deal with Yahoo was hailed as a coup de grace due to the opportunity to create synergy with the two huge audiences. Facebook is acting like a large company now.

if we look into another angle or perspective, i would compare “Walled Garden” is similar to”a House’s fence” as a metaphor. If you are occupying the house, how would you feel in guarding the house? How secure is secure in terms of the security being set-up?

Some would take it seriously, some would take it for granted, others would be more or less being satisfied. It all depends on different kind of organisation, people, customers, bloggers, person & IT-Savvy.

A food for thought: If you have 1 million dollar, would you feel confident to let others keep it for you? Or you keep it to yourself?

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