Just when you thought the gardens were opening…

…Verizon grabs a sliver of YouTube content, walls it up, and charges 15USD to get it.

I guess I can’t begrudge anyone trying to get a return on an (astronomical infrastructure) investment.

But it is interesting that just as the walls for mobile web are coming down, the walls for what everyone thinks is the next big thing are going up.

It’s like a castle seige (I’m thinking Lord of the Rings here, or something) – as soon as the first barricade is breached, there’s a cry of ‘fall back!’ to the next line of defence. And newsworthy as this has been, I can’t help thinking there’s more defence to it than innovation.

There’s a famous ‘hype curve’ model along which new technologies progress. Lots of hype, then a crash of reality, then a gradual re-acceptance and maturity as adoption returns. Think WAP.

Well I can imagine an inverted ‘walled garden curve’ that has a similar lifecycle: service providers don’t see some new phenomenon coming, and it gains community momentum. Then they suddenly ‘get it’, ramp up the tariff, and strangulate it. Eventually, market forces take over, and openness gradually returns. (That’s where we are with mobile web I believe).

We, the community, need to make sure the golden eggs survive the duress of the goose.

(And I’ll leave the discussion of any causality between these two curves as an exercise for the user.)