TECH TALK: Constructing the Memex: Mirror Blog
Think of the blog we create as a microcosm of our interests, reflected in the links, analysis, comments, blogroll and categories. We think that this blog reflects who we are. But more accurately, the blog reflects who we want to be seen as how we want others to see us as.
Now, imagine another blog. A Mirror Blog. This has links to what we are reading and would probably like to read, based on our interests. It has a blogroll which reflects our friends, and friends of friends. This blog is created from the blog we create and its interactions with the rest of the blogging ecosystem. The Mirror Blog is a more accurate reflection of us who we really are. It is constructed automatically by what we do, and what others do. It is a product of emergence shows us a top-level view of the world around us.
The best part about the Mirror Blog is that we do not have to do anything special other than blogging to create it. The more we tell it about what we like, the more we link into the world around us, the better it gets. It is a content recommendation engine, distilling out what our neighbourhood is reading, writing and discussing. It provides us with new inputs and insights. In fact, even if the personal blog is not updated on a daily basis, the Mirror Blog continues to be because the world around us is constantly changing.
The Mirror Blog also becomes an extension of our memory, in conjunction with our blog, ensuring that it is always possible to search the network of friends and related content, a kind-of middle between the compactness of our own brain and the breadth of Google and the other search engines.
The Mirror Blog is indeed the heart of MyMemex.
Gelernter envisioned all kinds of Mirror Worlds for hospitals, cities, universities, communities. This is how the blogosphere is emerging. Today, we see blogs created by people. Already, blogs are being embellished by photos from digital cameras. Soon, we can expect sensors to send out information to specific log pages. Each entity whether human or machine or an aggregation can be expected to have a weblog, which is a representation of itself. For all practical purposes, the weblog is akin to a Whats New page of a website. It mirrors the latest state of the entity, with access to the history also. The weblogs become the information sources, publishing their data in RSS, which we can subscribe to as part of our Memex. The interaction of the weblogs with the rest of the blogosphere creates the Mirror Blog.