Thoughts / Broadcast yourself ™ / November 20, 2008

We seem to still be in the broadcast yourself phase of the internet.

Blogs, twitter, feeds, gmail, digg, you name it: think of any of the customary ruling trendy growing online services/apps, they (mostly) all seem to have one thing in common: broadcast information.

Email was (and probably still is, beside social networks) the online killer application. Its method was simple: send a message to someone, or to many. Then there was the blog, which was one message to many, commented, in time. Then twitter, a short message to as many subscribers, with multiple channels. Then we got facebook, publish to one, publish to a group, publish to many, publish to all. Then friendfeed, which summarises all the stuff your friends are broadcasting. Then a million mash-ups and hacks to mix them all and have, well, more information per square pixel.

So now that we know how to broadcast our stuff, why don’t we start focussing on filtering it? Mediating it?

It might be the time to build a live filtering system that allows you to get only the information that is relevant: per channel or per situation or per location or per genre or per several other reasons and situations. Systems are robust enough to support the load, and there’s enough computing force to make for intelligent systems of processing.

Or simpler: we just need to use our peers as filtering profiles: “please just suggest me the posts of this blog that have either been read by my friend john or have been read by most of my network,” or “please suggest me movies seem by most of my network, but don’t send me movies that anna and peter have liked.” Simple. Perhaps not, but certainly not impossible.

Not so long ago, 50 years ago or so we were already talking about smart agents and mediation. I guess this is the moment to start shaping those words in to reality.

Or die under the weight of thousands of friends’ and foes’ tweets, feeds, posts, photos, books, music, radio recommendations, and emails.