Sam Ruby wants to go Beyond Backlinks, and I'm right there with him. He writes about the various means we've tried so far to discover connections (ie. referrers and linksback and Jon's analysis of blogroll connections), and muses further. I love the idea of further automation in surprisingly discovering connections and automatically exploring other feeds, based on discovered connections.

A plug for LiveJournal: I love their user info pages. I've been idly musing for a while now on how one might decentralize this and extend it web-wide throughout blogspace. I love seeing the friends and friends-of lists, analogous to blogrolls and inverse-blogrolls. And, I really love the interests lists, since just by entering a catalog of phrases, you can see unexpected links to other people interested in the same things. Not quite correlations or deep analysis, but it helps.

But it's the decentralization that rubs. I could probably start a service that provides user info page workalikes to bloggers. I could offer it for free, but then I might get popular and have to pay more for my altruism than I can afford. (Sometimes I worry about I could offer it for a small fee, but then the service would probably never see widespread use. Were it decentrallized, I could write some software, and others could pay their own way in server resources. More to think about this.

Also, if I can get time this weekend, there are a lot of parts of David Brin's novel, Earth, that I'd like to babble about. Reading it right now, and seeing that he wrote it just around 1990, I'm amazed at how fresh it still is. Sci-fi and speculative fiction rarely stand the test of years and unexpected advances, but a lot of the stuff in this book - particularly about the way in which people deal with information, how they discuss and create and manage it - seems to be happening right now.

Anyway, more soon.


Archived Comments

  • I have a bit of Earth extract here.
  • Take a peek at the FOAF vocabulary. This works much like RSS in that you "just put the file at a URL" and then everybody else needs to just link to it to get the info. Then you can use aggregators, or just spiders, to do "here's other people who...". They have properties for mail address, homepage, image, nicks, work info, knows (people), interests, projects, etc. and it's wide open for extension.
  • Actually, I've been peeking at FOAF off and on for awhile yet, since it looks like they want to do a lot of what I want to do... but I haven't seen it go very far yet. I should peek again. I think if somehow it managed to take off in blogspace, it'd be wild. Or, it could fall flat and no one really gets interested. Hmm, need to look at it again though, all the same.
  • As is rather typical, the RDF folks actually have no tools for it (specifically), and their libraries are on the complex end of the scale ("all of RDF goodness"). FOAF-for-the-rest-of-us needs someone interested in writing the little tools necessary to make it work easily, like readers, to-html, viewers, etc. I'll check to see if my Orchard (no relation :-) tool will read it, since it's a generic RDF-lite reader that I used for RSS 1.0.
  • Oops, no, Orchard's RDF support isn't generic. The gist of it is there, it's missing the parser tho.
  • I miss that feature about LiveJournal. Last month I completed my move to Movable Type from LiveJournal. I really get tired of clicking around to see who all has updated their weblogs.. then go log in to LiveJournal to read my old friends page (there a lot of entries that are marked as friends-only). A big weblog directory would be very nice. Something for people to register with and connect with other people instead of just randomly clicking around (like how I found you!). You could then find people based on their interest of coffee, Radiohead, and Jabber or maybe where they live. If you liked the person's content, you'd just go back to their profile and click "add to my friends page" .. then the database would do all the same things that LiveJournal does. hmmm... i like this idea.....