Ming the Mechanic:
One Big Soup

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 One Big Soup2004-06-02 16:07
picture by Flemming Funch

Seb mentioned this posting on WorldChanging by Jon Lebkowsky:
Nancy White pointed me to CommunityWiki's page, CommunityTiedToOneTechnology. Nancy and I had talked in the past about the potential power in building collaborative spaces using several integrated technologies, but as the Community Wiki discussion sez, "most of our internet communities appear to be tied predominantly to one technology or another." The wiki includes possible explanations like member inertia or low technical acumen, though maybe we just need more and better examples of integrated toolkits. There've been a few examples of successful integration of different modes and widgets, like the Emergent Democracy happenings that Joi Ito led. Another exception cited on the wiki: Open Source development teams use every technology for communicating and organizing that they can get their hands on. The future may be OneBigSoup (spun off as its on wiki converation here. (There's a #onebigsoup IRC chat room at Freenode, for those who think chat.) OneBigSoup discusses a potential Public Internet Communications architecture including

* PersonalServers
* LocalNameServers
* Group Servers
* Document Servers
* ThreadServers
* Blog Servers

These are explained as part of a trend from centralized coordination to decentralized coordination of a bunch of interoperable modules. Here's a comment from AlixPiranha:
yes. yes, yes, yes. decoupling. let me get away from applications and systems that try to make me use their specific way of doing things. i don't want a web browser with a built-in newsreader and MUA and editor. i want to plug all my favourites together. i want to be writing this text in emacs, not on a web form. i don't want to learn yet another way to mark-up a page; i want all of that to be transparent. and i definitely want control at the same time at which i want to make as much of my stuff as possible publicly available -- but i don't want to lose access to any of it when LiveJournal or any other large provider goes down; i want it ultimately all on my own server. and i want to look at everything that interests me out there in my own personalized aggregator where i can decide whether i want it threaded or not, sorted by subject, author, date, keyword, whatever.
Let me add my own Yes, Yes. We don't really want to be stuck with all those more or less proprietary tools. What we need is a set of basic protocols for how we can store and exchange various pieces of information that create our shared spaces. It shouldn't really depend on what blog software we're running, or what branded community software we're using. It should ALL talk to each other. Of course. Just like envisioned and implemented in the early days of the Internet. Those guys invented protocols for exchanging mail (SMTP) and for accessing shared forums (NNTP) and for chatting (IRC). And they're very simple and can be accessed with lots of different tools, fitting one's personal preferences. And they still work. We just need some more basic protocols for all the newer stuff we've invented in the meantime. Blogs, Wikis, contacts, friend lists, site book marks, workgroups of various kinds.

Many later standard protocols are either too simple or too complicated. RSS is great, but there are too many kinds, and different ways of using them. E.g. I can't count on picking up somebody's postings that way, because some blog software defaults to only showing headings in it.

What is needed is not somebody marketing a new cool piece of software that has better features. Not just another Orkut that everybody can go and sign up for. We need transparency. It is really better if it is all One Big Soup, and *I* choose what parts of it I'll relate to, and with which tools.

Some excellent ideas there on OneBigSoup.

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Other stories in
2014-09-27 00:04: You must be an expert by now
2014-09-26 15:15: Brevity
2011-11-06 21:33: Counting what counts
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2009-10-25 17:04: Opinions, perceptions and intuition
2009-10-15 08:32: Abstraction
2008-06-29 16:47: Complicated and Complex
2008-02-20 16:39: The universe as a virtual reality

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