Saturday, October 3, 2009

Antisocial networking

Antisocial networking: I just got my invitation to Google Wave. The prototype that's now public doesn't have all of the amazing features in the original video demos. At this point, it's pretty much just a way of collecting IM-style conversations all in one place. But several of my friends are already there, and I've had a few conversations there already. [...] Right now, my standard set of tabs includes my Gmail, calendar, RSS reader, New York Times homepage, Facebook page, and now Google Wave. Add in the occasional Twitter tab (or dedicated Twitter client, if I feel like running it) plus I'll occasionally have an IM window open. All of these things are competing for my attention when I'm supposed to be getting real work done. [...] The bigger problem is that these various vendors and technologies have different data models for visibility and for how metadata is represented. [...] This is all the more frustrating because RSS completely solved the initial problem of distributing new blog posts in the blog universe. [...] Could there ever be a social network/microblogging aggregator?[...] In the end, I think the federation ideas behind Google Wave and BirdFeeder, and good old RSS blog feeds, will ultimately win out, with interoperability between the big vendors, just like they interoperate with email. Getting there, however, isn't going to happen easily. (Via Freedom to Tinker)

This is getting out of hand, even for those of us who have stayed away from Facebook and Twitter. Too many disparate streams, no single alerting system. Browser tabs are not the right tool for attention management. However, we seem so close: Google Wave, PubSubHubbub, and rssCloud all involve open publish-subscribe protocols that could be plumbed together to create notification hubs for multiple streams, filtered and ranked according to user preferences.

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