Unpacking lock-in, silos and walled gardens

by Doc Searls

In the Linux and FOSS worlds we've been complaining for decades about vendor lock-in, platform and service silos, walled gardens and other annoyances. So now I'm wondering what scholarship has been devoted to these practices.

I ask because I'm trying to research these subjects at more than the usual depth, and I'm not getting as far as I'd like with the speed that I'd like. One reason is just me, of course. But I'm also coming to believe that silos, walled gardens and vendor lock-in simply haven't been subject to much academic scrutiny. You can see that to some degree in Wikipedia entries for vendor lock-in and information silos. At the top of both are boxes that say, "This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources."

I don't believe there aren't any. But I do believe there aren't many. So I'm hoping one or more of ya'll might be wiling to weigh in with some help. Put it directly in Wikipedia, if you like; or just put it below and I'll work the Wikipedia side. As well as my own. Or our own. Because that's what this is really about.

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