Here's a Bob Wyman post I discovered via Edgeio's blog that talks about the trend toward structured blogging, microformats, and the openness of Web 2.0. I'm not totally convinced that everything will move out of publishing environments like Craigslist, but the Edgeio model bets on the breakdown of "marketplaces" like Ebay and Craigslist where sellers and buyers both go, to the broader Web as an open marketplace where listings are discoverable.
Here's the critique of CraigsList and eBay:
On the other hand, the legacy, "old-web," "walled-garden" sites like CraigsList and eBay only provide service for data which is published behind their walls and in their proprietary systems. Data which is published within one of them is almost inevitably not published within any other service or on the open web. Thus, there is no opportunity for publishers and users to benefit from the kind of vibrant competition that forces innovation on the open web. Closed, walled-garden services essentially steal "network effects" from the open web and use those network effects to their own benefit. People use CraigsList and eBay not because they are the most excellent services, in terms of features or ease of use, rather they use these services because they have pulled the most data and the most users off the open web and into their closed, walled-garden systems...Here's Bob's vision:
In the world of Structured Blogging, you compete not by "capturing" people's data within your proprietary system but by providing better service to data published on the open web and accessible to all your competitors. The source of competitive advantage is in providing the best service, not in building high walls around other people's data. Let's all hope that many others follow Edgio's example in helping to exploit and build this new, innovative and open web of structured data.There are similar themes in what I'm exploring (stealth mode start-up). And some fairly similar criticism from the blogosphere on the incumbents (albeit without the Web 2.0 lens).