Last month I was in London for the AMP Advisory Committee meeting. We’ve had a few video conferences, but this was our first time meeting in person. While not everyone could attend, we did cover many topics.
My flight landed at 7am, got to my hotel around 8am only to find out my room wasn’t ready. So I walked to Akamai for our meeting. To say I was tired would be an understatement since I couldn’t sleep on the plane, and woke up at 7am the previous day.
Understanding Concerns with AMP
I thought I understood the reservations people had with AMP and perhaps I did on a technical level. I hope I now have a better understanding, but I know there is still more for me to learn.
Who cares if Google controls everything, it’s not my problem, there are other people who would prevent something bad from happening.
Levi Durfee – Before AC Meeting
Those were some of the thoughts that would go through my head before the meeting in London. At the AC meeting we had two guests who signed the AMP letter. Listening to people is something I have been working on, and it this was excellent practice. I feel like I really heard their concerns and have a better understanding.
From my understanding of Signed Exchanges, it goes against nearly everything I like about the web. I want people hitting my server, or CDN, to access my content. Typically, my sites don’t have many resources and are quick to load over any connection.
What would happen if any of my sites got on the front page of Reddit? Then hopefully I’ve built the infrastructure to handle it, or my shared hosting provider can handle it, or my CDN will take care of me. With those options I’m sure there would be some caching, but that’s fine because I can control the caching and have the content updated when I want.
Cloudflare offers some really great features for free, but is Cloudflare in Google’s pocket? I think I’m safe asking these questions even though I use Cloudflare as my CDN for this site.
How do we determine if there is a monopoly?
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.
Sure, Google was smart, created Alphabet, and owns other companies, but who dominates search? Can anyone compete with Google, Microsoft, Apple, or Amazon? Maybe we should start using Yandex? Or should someone invent a new type of search, one that uses an open-source algorithm to give everyone a fair chance?
Did Google create AMP with evil intentions? I don’t think anyone believes that. And I feel like they’re trying to solve a legitimate problem, but keep running into issues along the way. You can’t please everyone. Who should get to decide who you should please.
As a member of the AMP Advisory Committee (AC) I am obligated to think about these things, and question the Technical Steering Committee about what they’re doing. Please let me know if you have any concerns, or what you think about all of this.