TECH TALK: Constructing the Memex: MyMemex

MyMemex is the personal Memex. It is our knowledge management system. It comprises of a weblog and a directory. The actions that we need to take at the individual level to help in the construction of the Memex are:

  • Each of us maintains a personal blog and directory. The directory outlines our interest areas, and can transclude other directories. The blog publishes an RSS feed, which others can subscribe.

  • We also have an RSS IMAP Mailbox, so that we can subscribe to RSS feeds from different content sources and see them in our existing email client. This also enables us to post items from our regular mailbox, thus giving a permalink to mails.

  • All that we have to do is to keep blogging and ensure we keep our directory updated as we add new posts. (We may need a feature to specify posts as public, private or for a particular group.)

    We may also be participants in some group blogs these could be to various communities or associations that we belong, or within the enterprise. In each case, the same actions with respect to blogging and maintaining the directory need to be taken. We will need to specify a blog post or a sub-directory as being public, private or visible only to specific groups.

    The browser that we use should have a bookmarklet feature, allowing us to easily post elements of a page that we are reading. The bookmarklet simply opens up a new window and prompts us for the appropriate information to create a blog entry. Ideally, a single click should be able to capture the page details on the personal blog.

    The MyMemex can be run on the desktop or hosted centrally for the individual version, or on the users LAN, in the case of the enterprise version. The components that comprise the MyMemex are:

    Blogging Tool, to create and manage the blog. It should also generate an RSS feed.

    News Reader, to aggregate RSS feeds and display them. Two useful features in the News Reader would be (a) RSS2Mail, thus enabling the display of the items in the email client, and (b) Mail2Blog, enabling the posting of items directly to the blog using the MetaWeblog API.

    Directory Manager, to create and manage the OPML-based personal directory. It should also support transclusion. Thus, if the user specifies transclusion of degree 2, it should show in place sub-directories upto two levels deep. The Directory Manager can be constructed on top of an Outliner, and would need an OPML Browser and Editor. A key requirement here is for each sub-directory to have a unique permalink, thus enabling it to be transcluded in another directory. The Directory Manager should integrate with the blogging tool to allow the user to update the directory at the time of posting.

    Tomorrow: MyMemex (continued)

    TECH TALK Constructing the Memex+T

  • Published by

    Rajesh Jain

    An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.