After reading the the brief about the RMIT “The Swarm” project, I’ve been curious about how bloggers are achieving this at the moment, how can others know of our current presence or moreso status.
[ADDED: 8/5/07: iotum Talk-Now is a mobile web presence indicator]
What represents you on the web
Identity (eg. claimID)
People pages (eg. ziki)…also meta-identity
Meta-identity (eg. mugshot)
For me it is my blog, but more importantly my blog sidebar will tell you more about me.
If I didn’t have a blog (or even if I do have a blog) a meta-identity service like ziki or mugshot would do the trick.
If you want to know about me, would you go to my blog or my identity page?
What about MyBlogLog (similar to an identity service), this kind of acts like my blog “about” page, I’d like to see MyBlogLog offer a widget for my blog so people could leave messages…but they would have to be registered, so this is a bit of a hinderance.
I see the future of MyBlogLog as representing the blog sidebar, a kind of identity/status/presence network.
For more on communication check out my post, The various ways visitors can communicate with blog owners.
Anyway it doesn’t really matter what type of webpage represents you, what matters is widgets, so what widgets do we have for presence.
We have lots of widgets for contents, but here are some about presence, I want to know what someone’s status is right now.
This will let others know by; text, audio, visual (or all) what you are doing right now, this is on the onus of the owner to let others know what they are doing right now, the Twitter widget is the perfect example.
If I browse a blog like Micro Persuasion, on the sidebar I can see what Steve Rubel just did a couple of minutes or seconds ago via the Twitter widget.
Twitter can be used for status, but they are more about publishing, whereas I’m after a status tool, kind of like your status for IM, but a more meta-status or a person status so I can know what someone is up to full-stop.
I see it 2 ways, mugshot or even more real-time like Slifeshare will give me updates of content or attention, but I want a more indicator status, not what someone is publishing, collecting, surfing right now, but what is their location and current status eg. in a meeting, level 2…like a perpetually current auto-responder.
Plazes will let you know if I’m online, and where I am geographically
There are IM widgets that will also let others know of your online status, Hictu is a service for just this feature as well as a contacts manager, not sure if they offer a widget to let others know of your status.
A calendar widget will let you know what I’ve got on for the day, by looking at this you may get an idea of what I’m doing right now.
What are some other presence features?
Is a widget enough, or do we need a register or network for presence, kind of like a outward looking startpage?
What about a something like “the Swarm”, where you can visually let others know your current status eg. in a meeting, at my desk, at a bar, away for 2 days, on a plane, etc…this way we can see what others are physically up to and whether it is appropriate to contact a person. It’s kind of like a real-time auto-responder.
If we feel that it is OK to contact them synchronously then we can choose from; VOIP, IM, chat, mobile phone (Jangl). If not then shoot of an asynchronous message like; email, SMS, voice message, blog comment, blog chat box, and many other ways.
I really like the idea of this as the new identity network site, not only know about presence and status, but also content (eg. ziki), the bonus is you can take it as a widget as well.
Being part of a network for status is similar to what Twitter does for presence, just send an SMS command to see what a friends status is. An SMS is returned saying “busy in a meeting till 2pm, leave an email or voice message, etc…” Or it could say “at work, I’m available, contact me only asynchronously”.
It is different to Twitter as it is more about status, and you are not publishing, people only see the status you have set if they choose to be interested…I guess it could be a public stream, but I don’t see any value in this presentation.
I guess I’m after a status network, that works as a mobile friendly web network, like the Swarm idea or an auto-responder network.
[ADDED 19/04/07: PageFlakes : are widgets the new blog format?]