Extension of the URL
A project design that has proven elusive for the last month or so has been an open social web reader. The primary information format is web feeds, and the implementation goals are that the tool be distributed, open source, and instinctive to use. The usage pattern is one of quickly locating and browsing lifestreams from people, topics, and dynamic web sites we wish to keep track of. In addition tagging, editing, and curating content will be built into the tool. In short, I seek to lay the ground work for a read write social web layer. The tool will share a few core features with Google Reader, Twitter, and Wordpress. The River2 reader has some beneficial overlap with some of the features I'm interested in. Google Wave also shares some of these design principles but due to a number of issues* didn't become a mainstream utility.
A new way to browse the web
As it turns out, web browsers are fully capable of performing the life stream following, tagging, organizing and writing features I'm interested in. The challenges are:
- standardized URL lookups for lifestreams (DNS?) which in the short term can be remedied by a new lifestream domain with user added redirects. So http://(directory)/markessel would lead to my real time feed enabled lifestream. One of the issues is folks claiming and identifying this stream. Another is spamming or malware streams, which I believe distributed moderation can solve (report user)
- browsers being able to easily turn on or off specific services or feeds from a given lifestream
- default filters (tunable, extendable) which enable optional browsing instead of a default temporal order
- An instinctive tag, drag, drop, and write interface with a choice of reposting options: by email or xml-rpc
- mobile friendly. Minimize assumptions about browsers. Enable location filtering, and other addon utility
The technology should be usable from any browser and requires a solid working model with small tests. I'll be searching for easy to extend open source tools to provide specific utilities over the next few weeks. Any help would of course be appreciated. When the technology challenges are overcome, then business opportunities open up. One method of fueling ongoing development is lifestream hosting at the project domain, scaled to user/business needs.
*= My personal issues with wave: slow load times, page breaking, difficult permissioning, and primarily because it wasn't natively read/write with the existing web without extensions. In addition the follow model was nonexistent.