Below are a few screen shots I found thought provoking.
The first is taken from a site that is somewhat analogous to Twitter, Friend Feed. Actually like a lot of sites they recently started chasing Twitter’s tail lights. It has a lot more features. Like Twitter you have a timeline or feed of items about your life and one of it’s features is that it let’s you pull your feeds from various sites where you have an account. Thus if you participate in a forum on wood working you can pull your woodworking posts into your friend feed account. The idea is this makes it easier for your friends to follow what your doing. Here is part of their UI for setting that up.
I like that my identity scattered, like Dorothy’s Scarecrow friend, all over the place. The person that posts to my posterious blog is a quite distinct from the one that posts here; and my Apache member self is different yet again. But, inspite of that I’ve been toying with the puzzle of how these might be drawn together in various ways. I’m currently letting Friend Feed pull some of my info and pass it thru to Twitter – after a while, for example, I decided that having my delicious bookmarks stream into Twitter was too revealing for my taste. I am considering adding the feed from my worry tag where I collect a articles intended to tickle our reptilian brain.
Today I stumbled upon somebody else who has tackled this problem of how to remix your own self using Yahoo pipes.
I’m slightly embarrassed not to have thought of doing that, I mean I already use Yahoo pipes for other things. Yahoo pipes has been around for quite a while now. I expected to see more of this kind of thing sooner. There is a lot more waiting to happen. For example, I still can’t download a toolkit that lets me pull my various financial accounts and aggregate them, though there are web sites that will do that for me. The internet identity problem is still a mess, so private account data aggregation is still hard. It’s no surprise that we see the progress with public data first, nor is it a surprise that we see aggregating web sites before solutions that run on the periphery.
I’ve been wondering if we won’t start to see some examples of this kind of thing that work in a tangled way across the various sites. For example feeding your Twitter stream into Flickr, and vis versa; or creating an aggregated stream of activities at various hobby sites (woodworking, baking, biking) which are then turned around back to those sites.
The UI problems here are daunting. The two screen shots above make that clear. When I first setup Friend Feed to post some of my stuff thru to Twitter I toggled something in the following screen and for a while all my posts to FriendFeed were appearing twice over on Twitter.
No doubt it’s obvious to other people what I did wrong. But it’s fixed now, so that when I post this Friend Feed will notice, and tweet on my behalf. Maybe later I can blog about that.