The next Friendfeed

May 18, 2008...... at 10:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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At the beginning of 2004 I was working on a software project called Tagsay. The idea was deceptively simple, use baysian classification and wisdom of the crowds to filter the news and present each user with a customised news page that contained the most relevent news which had appeared in the time since that user had last appeared on the site. The birth of my twins scuttled that plan, as I ran out of money before I could complete the project and had to go back to paid employement, the computational expense of baysian classification meant the solution didn’t scale well.

One of the areas that I was looking into was how to teach the baysian classifier what type of news you liked and I stumbled upon the idea of an email gateway. Bookmarklets at that time were very much early adopter, still are I would say. Whereas the notion that you email articles that you like to your personalised newsreader and it would start to follow that type of news seemed scalable.

I still work on that project every now and again, between the time demands of raising 3 kids and managing software developers. These days I call it tehgnus and I hope to have it up on my personal site before too long. But today I was playing with twitter and reading a couple of heavy-weight bloggers on how important twitter is like randsinrepose and gee.ky and fred on the subject and ruminating on web 3 and realised that if friendfeed is the culmination of web2 then the culmination of web3 is going to be an email address that anybody can send an email to and it will publish to every service that there is. So if you send a short email < 140 characters, this service will publish to twitter and your blog on your behalf, longer emails will only be published on your blog, emails contained urls will be stored with delicious. The killer will be that you don’t have to register for any of these services – your email will be your identity and the service will register with all the web2 services on your behalf – indeed the emailer won’t now what their tumblr / twitter / wordpress / delicious username and password are – they won’t need too.

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