Recently I’ve been thinking about the infrastructure for sharing information and coordinating activities in an open world where everybody chooses their own email, writing, blogging, wiki, calendar, etc. tools. And more or less it seemed that many others would be thinking about this right now, with all the web2.0 weblets (e.g. numsum, writely, backpack, kiko, timetracker) evolving and slithering up from the Internet swamp (oops, I mean infrastructure).
And voila!, here is Ray Ozzie leading Microsoft with ideas that ring truly against these thoughts.
As an industry, we have simply not designed our calendaring and directory software and services for this â€œmeshâ€? model. The websites, services and servers we build seem to all want to be the â€œownerâ€? and â€œpublisherâ€?; itâ€™s really inconsistent with the model that made email so successful, and the loosely-coupled nature of the web.
And particularly resonating is the idea that RSS with very little change can support information flows amongst people as information peers as they share information items or actions rather then in directional roles of publisher/subscriber (writer/reader). Some, including the credible Sam Ruby, are skeptical, because this is afterall, the Microsoft doing the embracing and extending, which leads to the usual calls of extinguishing to come. Nevertheless, methinks, the analysis in Ozzie’s post is dead on, as in right on, not as in extinguish.