Fred Wilson summarized a conversation about Joel Monegro’s explorations of the deep web. The deep web is basically a portion of the web that isn’t or cannot be tracked (indexed) by search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The surface web is what you get when you “Google” something. Joel wanted to see what he could learn from the deep web that might be applicable on the surface web. He made a bunch of interesting observations:
- Tor is used to anonymously access marketplaces that are hidden within the surface web.
- Decentralized, encrypted, peer-to-peer, and trustless communications are preferred.
- Brand and reputation are everything, since that is the only way to establish credibility/trust.
- Payments are made in Bitcoin which goes into escrow, unless you have a really good reputation.
- Very little data is retained, and is only kept for a short period of time. Then it is removed.
I think that what Brad Burnham had to say about it was really forward-thinking:
All this leaves me wondering not so much if the world will move toward decentralized, and disaggregated marketplaces, but when and why.
Clearly we’re in the beginnings of this move right now, and it’s happening because of government spying, online harrasment, absusive corporate marketing practices, and the infinite permanence of one’s digital footprint. Folks really want to escape this ugly side of the internet and the deep web has some useful tools to help.