We began the quarter looking at Jabber and Instant Outlines, and evaluating blogging platforms like Radio and studying OPML and the Google API. We also built an Outline web service, which takes as input a text file and generates either an OPML file or a renderable file with nodes which can be expanded or collapsed. The next step was to create a blogging platform for the enterprise. Somewhere down the line, we hit upon the idea of building an RSS Aggregator. This is what has transformed the vision for what we want to do.
The realisation dawned that the real discontinuity in information processing is RSS. It enables the aggregation and scanning of 10x the information that one was previously capable of. Combined with a blogging platform, an RSS Aggregator can thus work as the base to build a knowledge management system. What would be expected of people is that they narrate the work they are doing, and put together content with comments of what interests them. (The BlogStreet analysers would then build up the relationships between the blogs, and thus the people behind them).
So, as a first step, we have constructed an RSS Aggregator which can post to a Movable Type weblog. I have just begun using this with my blog.
The plan for the coming quarter is:
– Build on the RSS Aggregator making it more robust and feature-rich (eg. showing only the new entries, enabling search on the archives)
– Making the RSS Aggregator work on the server within the Enterprise, thus enabling aggregation of feeds from the outside world and from blogs within. This means, that if there are 5 people subscribing to a site, then the RSS Aggregator will ensure that the feed is got only once. This is important for emerging markets where bandwidth is limited.
– Building a super-RSS Aggregator on the lines of NewsIsFree as a Web Service
– Creating a Blogging platform to allow people to post items of their interest to a personal blog (or a group blog) in specific categories
– Extending to include feeds from other sources (eg. Mail, enterprise software, etc.)
– Making sure that everyone in company starts using a Blog. This means being able to make the Digital Dashboard as a hosted service on the LAN.
– Extending this hosted service to a server on the Internet so we can offer it to others also. By integrating it with BlogStreet, this will offer a seamless application from being able to identify blogs of interest, adding their RSS feeds to the RSS Aggregator, and then blogging items of interest to personal blogs.