I still have a Firefox t-shirt labelled « Take back the web ». I think this goal hasn’t been more important than today, with the rise of so many social networks.
I’ve already written my opinion on this here and here, and I’ve read this on Slashdot recently, that seems to back it a little :
With the failure of email on the spam-fighting front, the weaknesses of DNS to properly enforce trust in network communication, I think it’s time to build an ecosystem of social communication, not based on a company or even a free software (as did Diaspora), but on a set of protocols that could allow messages, information, search, affinities, trust and money to be distributed and exchanged between identities on the web.
The ideas from virtual distributed money can maybe be reused to some extent, but other methods, for instance to deal with distributed affinities or search needs to be invented.
For once, public intervention may be a good idea. I’m pretty sure the EU would be wise to invest a lot of money in this envdeavour, to break free from our US friends and their companies.