Update: Belorussian translation of this post is available thanks to Martha Ruszkowski.
Streams are so pervasive and so slippery, it’s easy to think that our goal in building
sudoSocial is to build an “X” Killer.
Here are 4 applications that we’re not setting out to build:
A FriendFeed Killer
Cliqset, Jaiku, Google Buzz, Sweetcron, Pubwich, and other lifestreaming socialnetworks are pretty dope and I’ve followed this space for several years. I use them. I love them. But, it is possible none of these applications will ever achieve mainstream adoption, because they are hyper geeky. (That’s okay, it’s fun to live in the future).
Facebook’s “news” feature is a lifestreaming service for mainstream audiences. And they are killing it [sic].
I want to see more self-hosted lifestreams. I want to see them heavily customized by look and feel, through backend code, etc. I think that lifestreams could be the QBasic of the iPad generation.
A Facebook Killer
There is a lot of energy around creating a massive new suite of de-centralized, but integrated apps to replace Facebook. Candidates include:
I’d put established projects like Status.net and Drupal on the short list of hopefuls. This is a very exciting space, but
sudoSocial is from the unix tradition of small tools that do one thing extremely well.
I think we have to chip away at de-centralizing the web (Facebook Like buttons arggh).
Once decentralized socialnetworking standards are baked,
sudoSocial simply has to honor and champion them.
If I could harness the energy around the Dispora project, I’d channel it into creating new social networking protocols for strengthening the OpenWeb.
A Google Reader Killer
Content aggregation is pervasive. Feed readers were the first killer app for syndicated website content. We are not trying to build one of these guys.
The cutting edge here is things like Feedly or TwitterTim.es which try to cut down on information overload. It’s done via metadata and algorithms to determine which entries should rise above the noise.
sudoSocial platform, it should be possible to create something like Atul’s daily edition, which is a private stream of must read entries.
Classic Lifestream Killer
I guess you can’t have a “Classic Lifestream Killer”, since that category has never had a 800 lbs gorilla. I’m talking about the Freeman/Gelernter style lifestreaming application, something like MylifeBits. It would organize repositories of your entire digital life. Not tryin’a build it.
You will (eventually) be able to bulk import and export your data from sudoSocial, so this might be a good net to start fishing for your lifestream with.
Each of these 4 applications are a massive pile of work. To deliver a polished and usable product they are millions of person hours to build from scratch.
I’ve asked myself… What is a reasonably sized community project that could create a tool that doesn’t already exist?
We’ve got some amazing Free/Open Source web applications. I think a missing piece is a mainstream publishing platform for streams, which allow you to curate content from across the web. It’s a tool that would compliment a webstack built out of WordPress + Disqus + Plone, etc.
What are the goals that shape this project?
- Promote the OpenWeb
- Empower Individual to curate and publish their streams
- Promote awareness of privacy issues
- Explore how to do Free/Open Source cloud computing
- Expand the diversity of the Mozilla Community
Wow, that is kind of a mouth full. Ya, trying to keep it small and simple.
Hey, But we should really build X!
This is what
sudoSocial means to me, but I can’t do anything without your help. What strikes you fancy? Where do you want to take it next?