Ive been drinking espresso shots from Starbucks.
Seriously though, they are desired as platforms – its just that now may be the perfect time to take our data back.
First Ill start with a question and this is addressed directly to Dave Winer and of course everyone else as well. Would it be possible to extend RSS with a rel= specification in the same way that the rel=enclosure spec led to passing information about media files?
If per chance RSS could be the delivery and discovery platform, then that partially solves the decentralization of not just Twitter but the entire medium of handling personal announcements. After all, at that point, a Tweet is just a blog post in terms of metadata. Taking that a step further, it seems like we also already have the infrastructure in place to create the means of discovering followers and following via blogging (i.e. publishing platforms) and RSS as well, no? Couldn’t everything be handled entirely with XML?
The reason why this would be a very positive route it seems is because of the level of adoption of RSS that is already in place. We are talking about how to do activity like publish, ping, discover and aggregate and thats already out there.
HOW THIS MIGHT LOOK
Perhaps on my blog here, at dembot.com, I could keep my own profile. You know that’s what Scoble got banned for right? He wanted to keep a copy of his own profile and they said no to that right quick. While he may continue to decide he likes Facebook and wants to organize his life there, lets say I decide to keep MY profile myself at www.dembot.com/profile. This is basically my about page. I could host it on any website and call it any html/xml page, or use any publishing platform that adopted the new RSS specs, if I wanted to participate in the friend thing. Perhaps Tumblr would decide to recognize the spec and then they could add a box for me to send out my little announcements, er a category I mean for my titles and descriptions when they are short, and manage my about page, er, my profile I mean. If not, I could always just create some XML myself and use a style-sheet perhaps.
When I add a bookmark to my list of favorite blogs, er, when I add a link to the profile location of one of my favorite people, that information goes into my own database, the master source of my profile data. If it were me, it would be in a MYSQL database. It would be up to me to remain up and communicating. If it were on Tumblr, that master set of info about my friends and where their profiles are located would live in Tumblr’s database.
So then, there is another step it would seem that could also be handled via RSS. Periodically, I must send out a ping to everyone that I am following to let them them know that I am following them, unless I dont want to. By having my client send a ping directly to your client P2P, via RSS, our two clients can then understand the reality of our connection and continue to periodically ping each other to check for updates.
Meanwhile, there would be many voluntary station nodes that would receive all of the public announcements and public friend relationships, bundle them up and organize them into certain ways that people liked, and they could then allow anyone else to get the latest and greatest public stream. So instead of having just one central station for the public stream, you have the public stream living on voluntary nodes all over the place. If the adoption went well, perhaps one could ping pingomatic and then Pingomatic would send out pings to all of the major voluntary nodes like Twitter, Tumblr, my home server if I wanted to be one, etc.
If you came to dembot.com/profile I might design just the layout I want of my friends pictures, the people Im following, what feeds I have in my public timeline, all that stuff.
The least amount of data needed to travel could go via RSS pings and the greater amount of data would live on my own client that made the information available to anyone that wanted it, in my case with Tumblr or Moveable Type or by mine own self, my own master as they say, er as I say.
How about rel=blazon? Maybe we could get a little rel=johnnycash action just because it would be cool and we could.
Be sure and check back for my next post, “How to Make Dark Matter”. I’ll be drinking fermented eggnog for this one!