Not only is it handy to manage all your identities, but Lijit and Ziki also allow you to search all your content, search your blogs, bookmarks, etc… in one go.
It gets better, since you are in a network environment, Lijit allows you to add friends (trust a friend), now you can search you, or search you and the friends you trust (not sure if you can search your friends friends), this is searching through a social filter.
Even better again is that it is portable, you can generate a search box widget.
For a visual explanation check out the excellent post, Personal Network Search.
Community Building for success
But what if people you trust don’t have a Lijit profile, this is what is going to sustain this service, they need to attract a massive community, otherwise people won’t don’t have a good enough selection from people to trust.
What they need to do on sign up is have a tell-a-friend feature, because if your friends are not Lijit, then who are you going to trust (add as friends).
For this to work properly all your friends need to join…so what is the selling point:
- Search all your web 2.0 identity in one place
- Search your friends web 2.0 identity in one place
- Search you and your friends in the one search
In order to build a community they need to be popular and to do this they need to hook up with some big players, and this is just what they have done with Feedburner.
They also seem to be following the del.icio.us lesson, that is, there needs to be personal value before community benefits, people need a reason to use it personally, it has to be useful at the immediate level.
Being able to manage and search your own scattered content is certainly a personal benefit, and being able to then connect with others turns into another personal benefit. The fact the others can search through a social filter benefits the community or visitors passing by…I suppose the community benefits in that from one website you have a choice of people vertical search engines.
Another way around this is a similar concept, to be able to search your friends without them having to be Lijit.
I think this is key, as an individual could search their network without members of their network even knowing what Lijit is, this will enable Lijit to work for you straight away.
A way to do this is to be able to add your blogroll, which is in the works, Ziki is already there, but not searchable yet.
NOTE: Ziki also lets you tag yourself and tag your friends (network), so it is also an expert locator - find people by explicit tag or find people by searching content.
This way your identity is your blog, bookmarks, photo’s, etc..and your blogroll. This kind of eliminates the need to add friends (people you trust), as you are adding them externally via your blogroll.
But this is limited to just their blogs, your friends on your blogroll would have their own bookmark feeds etc…so maybe you have to collect all these other non-blog feeds and add them to your blogroll before adding it to Lijit.
You could search:
- you and your blogroll (or limit it to just you)
In the ideal world you wouldn’t need to add your blogroll, as all the people in your blogroll would have a Lijit profile, so all you would do is add a friend (person you trust).
You could search:
- you and your friends
- you and your friends friends
How do we achieve a similar thing without a service like Lijit, this will reveal how useful it is in serving a dedicated purpose.
Let’s clarify this, I want to search my identity (blog, bookmarks, etc…), and my friends as well.
A way to do this is, for each feed in your RSS reader, grab that person’s other feeds, like bookmarks, photo’s, etc…
You could have each person’s batch of feeds in a folder, then if possible in the near future (a shout out to developers ), select folders to search, you could select your folder (your blog feed, bookmark feed, etc. - yes this is subscribing to your own stuff) to search you, then add other folders to your query to also search people you trust.
In this scenario, you already have your blogroll, but then you are running around grabbing all the feeds that make up someone’s identity, firstly this is a lot of running around, and secondly how to you know what services they belong to, you would maybe search using UpScoop.
For this reason Lijit sounds like a Lijit service…plus it is in an open and social sharing environment.
Limit identity to just a their blog and Reading List
How can we can get the same effect as Lijit but just limiting someone’s identity to their blog and the feeds they read.
Let’s just say your friend = a feed in your RSS Reader.
The idea is to search all your friends RSS Readers, so if you subscribe to 50 feeds, that is 50 people, that means you want to be able to search in the RSS readers of these 50 people.
I guess this idea is restricted to Reading Lists, so for each person their identity is their blog and their blogroll, which unlike Lijit a person’s identity includes your blog feed, bookmarks feed, etc.
Maybe it is wise to think that you don’t need to search within a person’s RSS Reader, as searching in their blog and bookmarks is the cream of what they read in their RSS reader and from elsewhere as well.
HOW WOULD YOU DO THIS?
Bloglines allows you to make your RSS Reader public, this way using their advanced search you can search a users RSS Reader.
Other things you can do is search your subscriptions, or exclude your subscriptions.
Now what if Bloglines allowed you to add friends, then you could search friends subscriptions (excluding or including your subscriptions)…I think Rojo once attempted this with their contacts feature.
Spokeo is a social network RSS Reader, where you can actually subscribe to another Spokeo users RSS Reader.
What about non-Bloglines users, the key here would be for each RSS Reader on the planet to have a public version or at least a spliced feed, this way you could grab the spliced feed of your friends RSS Reader and put it in a folder in your own RSS Reader called friends of friends.
Your RSS reader would have 3 folders:
- your blog feed
- feeds you read (blogroll/Reading List)
- the feeds (blogroll/Reading List) your friends read
ie. each feed in your RSS Reader is a person who has their own RSS Reader
Then you would have to be able to search at the folder level.
OPML instead of spliced feeds
An alternative is to share your OPML, see SYO.
The idea here is for your RSS reader to subscribe to an OPML (not bulk loading feeds, but subscribing to the OPML itself), there are only a few RSS readers that can do this at the moment, the pioneer being Blogbridge, and FeedBlitz for email.
If you have 50 feeds (people), and you want to find the OPML of these people (their RSS Reader Reading List), you go to a people search registery like SYO.
Once you have found a person, grab their OPML and subscribe to it in your RSS Reader.
What if SYO was more than a registery, perhaps a social network, you sign up and add your blog, then add your OPML Reading List. A user could browse or search for people, once they have found a person they could search their blog or search their Reading List or search these together. This is searching you and the feeds you trust.
The social network part would be bookmarking other users, this way you can search that user and their world from your account. But what about if it was more than bookmarking a user, what if this was intergrated into your profile. This way someone could come along and search:
- your blog
- your blog and your Reading List (feeds you trust)
- your blog and your Reading List and your friends Reading List
You could also have an outline view in an OPML tree:
….OPML include - You
……..RSS (your blog)
……..OPML include (Your Reading List)
…………RSS feed 13
…………RSS feed 2
…………RSS feed 3
…………RSS feed etc…
….OPML include - Friend A
……..RSS (Friend A blog)
……..OPML include(Friend A Reading List)
…………RSS feed 2
…………RSS feed 22
…………RSS feed 345
…………RSS feed etc…
….OPML include - Friend B
……..RSS (Friend B blog)
……..OPML include(Friend B Reading List)
…………RSS feed 19
…………RSS feed 22
…………RSS feed 567
…………RSS feed etc…
…and so on.
This example only shows adding friends at one level, but what about your friends friends.
This outline could go really wide to the right and repeat, eg. my friends are Friend A and Friend B, but Friend A could have friend B in their OPML, so this means Friend B appears twice in my OPML, but that’s ok, we are just browsing.
Also note that Friend A and Friend B both have RSS feed 22 in their Reading List.
What would be the ultimate is to be able to select multiple nodes to search, example, I could search within:
root OPML - search within the full-text of the whole tree
OPML include A - search within the full-text of just Friend A
OPML include You, OPML include Friend B Reading List - search within the full-text of You and Friend B’s Reading List
RSS feed 19, OPML include Your Reading List, RSS Friend A blog - search within the full-text of RSS feed 19, Your Reading List, Friend A’s blog
Personal Network Cloud
So far we have talked about searching you or your network (eg. Lijit searches your identity and the identity of friends you trust, a blogroll would just search your blog and your RSS Reading list).
Other features to consider is comparing your OPML blogroll to other people’s like you can do in SYO and feeds.reddit. This may show you your personal network cloud without having to manually add friends, your friends could already be shown to you based on how your interests match to their interests.
So you can find friends by comparing blogrolls, revealing similarities, but let’s go beyond the subscription web.
Other ways to find friends is by comparing your bookmarks with others.
Other data you can gather is analysing your trackbacks/inbound links, and analyse your outbound links, also comments on your blog, and blogs you comment on, see my post Blog clouds.
Somehow this would all be churned together and result in a personal network cloud, with you in the center.
It could start off with you in the centre and you could say:
“show me people who read the same blogs as me”, then you could add another layer and say;
“show me the people who bookmark the same links as me”, then you could add another layer and say;
“show me the people who I comment on”, then you could add another layer and say;
“show me the people who comment on my blog”, then you could add another layer and say;
“show me the people who link to me”, then you could add another layer and say;
“show me the people I link to”.
Further, it would strengthen a person’s proximity by comparing the variables above:
eg. people who comment on my blog - do I read the same blogs as these people, do I comment on these people’s blogs or other blogs they comment on, do I bookmarks similiar links to them, do they link to my blog posts, do I link to their blog posts.
You could add/remove any of these layers, you could also say “mix all or select multiple layers and show me a personal network cloud.”
You could even click on any person in your cloud, and their cloud would layer on top (this could get messy).
Also when you click on someone you can access and search any of their content (blog, bookmarks, etc…), plus as before in the outline tree you could choose to search any mix of variables from the cloud.
Besides your personal network cloud, you could also generate a personal recommendation cloud, see my post RSS reading recommendations.
Many RSS Readers recommend feeds, even 3rd parties like Outbrain, UltraGleeper (this also recommends posts)…also see SYO and feeds.reddit. Sphere also has related content (just to your blog not to your identity), and megite and Tailrank will recommend posts based on your blogroll…Findory and Spotback do this based on your reading behaviour. Feeds 2.0 fits in here somewhere.
Maybe this whole post is about attention, and analysing it to derive person centric networks/clouds/recommmendations.
Perhaps ziki and Lijit are attention management services in essence…see APML for more attention variables.
Maybe this is the easiest way to achieve my goal. Record your attention, nearly everything happens in your browser, it could record everything you do.
Simply plugin it into a service for recommendations and a personal cloud.
The ultimate is an attention registery, plug it in and it compares you to other people, and build a personal network cloud.
Oops, is this spoonfeeding Big Brother…they are already tracking when I use public transport, use my credit card (shopping, eating), etc…