Some might argue this is a feature, but to me it is a big hole in the ‘pods as a service’ model.
I think this because it is an easy way to create lock in: entice users with attractive extras that are not easily available elsewhere. This would undermine one of the key goals of Solid - ability to transfer your data with minimal cost and no loss of service - in which case we will have recreated the conditions for those with deep pockets to centralise, capture and exploit.
Business will inevitably do this so long as it is a way to increase profits, and I am not sure that there’s a way to change that while retaining pods as a service at the core of Solid. It certainly doesn’t get much discussion, which is baffling, because to me it seems an obvious problem with the economic model of Solid that breaks the essence of the project.
It isn’t that it can’t be solved at all, but I don’t see how it can be solved while using pods as a service.
I think the main solution is seen as making it easy for individuals to run their own pod, and to get user owned pods into homes by various means, but a credible route to this is not being elaborated. To work it would need to be easier and cheaper, and obviously so, to a degree that marketing by corporations would not be able to capture the bulk of consumers. Meanwhile we see corporations push TVs, digital assistants and ever more abusive devices into people’s homes with ease, and all we can do is shake our heads and hope for regulation.
IMO we need a technical solution that can’t be captured and centralised, but as I say, I’m open to hearing why I’m wrong.