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TECH TALK: Constructing the Memex: MemexCentral

June 11th, 2003 · No Comments

Along with the software tools for MyMemex and OurMemex, there are many global-level services and actions which are required. Think of this as MemexCentral. Here is what it offers:

  • There is a blog for each of the various popular news sites and magazines, allowing us to link to them in the event that they do not have a permalink for their articles.

  • There needs to a search engine for blog posts, which can help build out the people-expertise mapping, enabling users to get to expert bloggers and hence their outlines. This is where ideas like semantic indexing can be used.

  • There is an RSS generator, just in case the blogging tool that is being used does not generate an RSS feed. It is imperative that every blog have an RSS feed which others can subscribe to.

  • A blog neighbourhood calculator uses the blogroll and links in blogs to provide the wider network around a blog. This is very similar to what BlogStreet does.

  • A content recommendation engine, which serves as the base for providing the inputs for the Mirror Blogs.

  • A BlogRank which works like a PageRank for blogs, based on the incoming links to a weblog. Again, this is similar to what BlogStreet does.

  • It allows Search to be conducted in the extended network of the neighbourhood. Here perhaps it could use Google as the base, or it would conduct the search in its own collection of blog posts and RSS feeds which have been aggregated from the various blogs. An alternate idea is to make Search more distributed akin to how Napster worked. For this, blogs would need to offer search as a web service, and present the results in a standardised manner to MemexCentral. Maciej Ceglowski had presented a paper at Emerging Technologies on Peer-to-Peer Semantic Search Engines: Building a Memex.

  • It can also offer a full-service solution, with all the elements needed for the MyMemex and OurMemex. This would entail creating a virtual desktop as a hosted service. This way, users do not need to download anything to get started. Workspot already offers a Linux desktop in a browser it would be a small step to take that and put all the utilities for creating the Memex centrally. Think of this as a Hotmail for Blogs, RSS and OPML.

  • It would offer a centralised TextAds service, along the lines of Googles AdWords. The difference in this case would be that end users could be paid a small commission on ads displayed or clicked upon, thus creating potential revenue streams for bloggers. The TextAds could be a good tool to promote microcontent what bloggers themselves create. They could specify the neighbourhood in which they would like their ad to be shown. Today, there is no service to effectively promote the content that bloggers create.

    These are just a short set of services that MemexCentral can provide. While the MyMemex and OurMemex can work locally or on enterprise servers, a set of centralised services can add immense value.

    Tomorrow: Putting It Together


    TECH TALK Constructing the Memex+T

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