Chautauquas

Blabberings on technology, the web, mobile world, India, books, events, communities and everything else (Chautauqua: An old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the participants)

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Changing your life into an RSS feed

I log on to my computer and find 5 new email messages. They're all from myspace, gather and zillion other things I join to be able to see what they're all about. I hate email updates especially from social networking websites. It sort of represents an archaic way of conveying information when social networking sites were not quite that ubitquitous and you expected one to not look at the site very often. In those times it made sense to let me know through an email that there was something new for me to look at. Maybe it was about my friends, maybe someone had left me a message there or sent a friend request. However, now, when almost every kid has myspace or Bebo or Cyworld as their homepage and they probably log on to them 20 times a day and they carry them on their mobile phones, email updates no longer make sense to me. They are like the grocery store coupons I receive in mail about once a week and throw into recycling rightaway.

Of course, I am quite interested in finding out what's going on within social network - more in some people than others, but I don't want an email everytime something changes in the lives of all people in my network. There has to be a smarter way of addressing the need - maybe the service could have a semi-intelligent rating system which decides what kinds of updates I'd like, maybe the service could have a better delivery mechanism than email to provide me with an update (something that is non-intrusive) - somebody has to got to think of something different!

I believe at LinknSurf we addressed these updates in an interesting way: we turned people's life into an RSS feed. No spam, no clutter...what if we turned each of your buddies on the buddylist into an RSS feed instead of cluttering the buddylist with tags. Now, if you're really interested in someone you could easily see what he/she has been upto as soon as you're subscribed to an RSS feed of their lives.

Stowe Boyd (whom met I while ago) has an interesting post. He writes: Blog or Social Networking Status is Just A Kind Of Presence -- You've changed your Facebook status from "married" to "it's complicated"? It's just one of a dozen bits of status, like new blog posts, or geolocational information that should be hanging off your icon on your buddies' buddylists. And of course, we'd like this carefully managed by privacy constraints, since people don't want their estranged lovers knowing where they are hanging out. What they are reading and what they think about it -- I would like to know what my favorite individuals are reading and their take on it, but I'd also like some way to surface things that are interesting to a lot of my favorite people (a la MeMeme), some kind of sidebar to the Nerdavana buddylist, perhaps.

More on this in the days to follow...