Of Web-Centric Science, Telegraphs, and Telephones

February 07, 2009

If the telephone guys had set out to make something that did what the telegraph does, but better, they probably would have failed. Instead, they solved a different problem, in such an overwhelmingly useful way that they eliminated the feature set of the competition.

Seth Godin in Solving a Different Problem

Could it be that both Open Access and Electronic Laboratory Notebooks are examples of telephone-like capabilities being used to make a better telegraph?

Web-Centric Science offers a set of features orthoginal to those of paper-centric science. Creating the new system in the image of the old one misses the point, and the opportunity, entirely.