RSS XML and Social Networking as a media channel

NOTE: Since I wrote this, I found out that what I’m talking about here is essentially one of the many things that the “Semantic Web” will make possible. -April, 2007

man-o-man I sure have been thinking a lot about a lot of different apps that could/should be built lately. Too bad I..m not a developer. Even more than that, been thinking about XML, RSS 2, and the possibilities for creating what in effect would be a distributed personal database of an individual..s social & professional connections, projects, media, personal favorite things, public calendar Etc.. Oh and of course, so many things can be geocoded too so throw in a little google earth and vala! The way I see it, everyone should not just have a feed, but BE a feed, and web apps should really function as filtering devices and storage facilities. The great thing about tags is: (figure 1) the way intersection of them can lead to very specific navigation through a large pile of stuff And with XML (figure 2), parts that aren..t understood by the application are simply ignored. Think about YouTube. You can see the ..most popular.. videos or the ..most discussed.. but what ends up happening is since the user-base of the site is so big, someone like me with pretty specific taste gets the short end of the stick. P-Diddy may very well be very popular, but me and my friends don..t really like P-Diddy. I..m not really into skateboarding videos or watching teenagers dance around in their underwear lipsyncing to pop songs either.

The way I see it, I should be able to look at all the video content recently taggged by (or added to the feed of) any of the people socially connected to me via my feed in the form of a new feed -a dynamically generated RSS 2.0 XML file, serving as a means of glancing at things or subscribing to automatically download the latest stuff my social network thinks is cool. The same with music. Or perhaps I find some one online who seems to have really good taste in music and is always finding out about the cool stuff first. I could just subscribe to their feed..s music or the social network..s feed..s music, with one degree of seperation or two degrees or one degree of their friends and two degrees of mine etc.. Am I insane? Also, since so many different applications can use different specific items in an individual..s XML file but not other items, perhaps the thing to do is to have a pinging system where any application can edit its own local copy of a users feed, and other applications will take notice and update their local version.. this would be easy to accaomplish as the application..s version of the user..s name will also be in the XML file.. This way, if you find someone on Social Site A, you have also found them on Video Site B, Blogging Site C, Book Review Site D, and Picture Site E. None of the applications (sites) have proprietary access to the user..s XML over another. That is owned by the user as it should be. It was annoying to me when I realized that it was impossible to back up the social connections I had made on MySpace. Those connections and the messages recieved and semt are MINE, not MySpace..s. And in my vision, I don..t really see much of a future for banner ads and other FORCED advertising. To be continued..

Figure 1

Figure 2