Burke’s Walled Backyard

Walled gardens have emerged from within the distributed network of the Internet. These pockets of the Internet, such as Apple App store, Facebook, Amazon, are controlled by centralised, hierarchical power structures. They differ from the the egalitarian nature of the open internet where every node acts as an entry point to the network and every node has the ability to broadcast to the entire network.

This podcast employs the concept of the walled garden, as if it where a literal garden with flowers, soil etc. The podcast aims to bring in to question whether walled gardens are actually beneficial, via a satirical gardening show which attempts to explain how the lord of the manor (the garden owner) benefits from a walled garden situation, as opposed to a free and open system (the national park example).

With regards to the concept of feudalism on the Internet, the owner of the walled garden is the feudal lord and guests in his walled garden are the medieval peasants.


3 thoughts on “Burke’s Walled Backyard

  1. BRILLIANT!!! The literal use of a gardening show, paired with this weeks content was an absolutely intriguing and humorous way to explore the concept of “Feudalism”. By identifying flowers and plants as the end nodes, I was able to establish how they act as a community and benefit from interaction with one another. Personally, as an end nodes myself..I see the benefits of these “walled gardens” as providing me with networking, planning, sourcing content and personal branding. However, the use of the gardener as centralized control system brought into question the negative effects of copying and utilizing such personal information. It was a wonderful method, especially through the use of the image and podcast to tell a narrative, that effectively allowed the user to understand the connection between feeling protected and being exploited.

    So good!!! x


  2. Awesome! Good job. I like the satire effect and the insane amount of metaphors haha it does make it a lot easier to digest all the concepts being discussed.
    I’m not really sure where I stand with this argument as I appreciate an open garden but a lot of things have thrived due to a walled garden approach. I think that this feudalism going on with these massive companies taking over with their walled gardens was inevitable on the internet and its something we probably won’t be able to avoid. But is it a bad thing? I really am not sure.
    This article might be very interesting to you. I specifically like the quote, “These are not traditional companies, and we are not traditional customers. These are feudal lords, and we are their vassals, peasants, and serfs.”, which is often how I see Apple and their customers with their walled garden.
    Article – https://hbr.org/2013/06/you-have-no-control-over-s


  3. This blog instantly grabbed my attention, the title is a great metaphor for the idea of a walled garden. I also referred to us as the peasants beneath the feudal lords. Perhaps if you look further into this article on data retention and the end to Australian’s digital privacy (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/data-retention-and-the-end-of-australians-digital-privacy-20150827-gj96kq.html) you would be able to have an even greater understanding about how much control the government has over its peasants. Good post, good metaphor- well done.


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