Beyond Backlinks, LiveJournal connections, and David Brin's Earth
Sam Ruby wants to go Beyond Backlinks, and I'm right there with him. He writes about the various means we've tried so far to discover connections (ie. referrers and linksback and Jon's analysis of blogroll connections), and muses further. I love the idea of further automation in surprisingly discovering connections and automatically exploring other feeds, based on discovered connections.
A plug for LiveJournal: I love their user info pages. I've been idly musing for a while now on how one might decentralize this and extend it web-wide throughout blogspace. I love seeing the friends and friends-of lists, analogous to blogrolls and inverse-blogrolls. And, I really love the interests lists, since just by entering a catalog of phrases, you can see unexpected links to other people interested in the same things. Not quite correlations or deep analysis, but it helps.
But it's the decentralization that rubs. I could probably start a service that provides user info page workalikes to bloggers. I could offer it for free, but then I might get popular and have to pay more for my altruism than I can afford. (Sometimes I worry about BlogRolling.com.) I could offer it for a small fee, but then the service would probably never see widespread use. Were it decentrallized, I could write some software, and others could pay their own way in server resources. More to think about this.
Also, if I can get time this weekend, there are a lot of parts of David Brin's novel, Earth, that I'd like to babble about. Reading it right now, and seeing that he wrote it just around 1990, I'm amazed at how fresh it still is. Sci-fi and speculative fiction rarely stand the test of years and unexpected advances, but a lot of the stuff in this book - particularly about the way in which people deal with information, how they discuss and create and manage it - seems to be happening right now.
Anyway, more soon.