Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Imagining the future

In the future, you'll post a page to a server some where. The site, folder, or specific page will then contain a few pieces of metadata to make all of this comment mechanism obsolete:
  • GUID (Globally Unique ID) string to allow reference to a document
  • Digital Signature for the document, and its authors
  • List of places for the reader to find updates, comments, etc.
  • List of places where the author publishes his comments, ratings, etc.
The process of getting a web page won't be as simple. The resulting view for the reader will depend on the original source content, plus the additional data that their browser may have gathered depending on their preferences, web of trust, etc.

If this page, for example, were created in my desired future, there would be a link to a public comments server somewhere, to help with compatibility to the current web browsers.

A FireFox plugin would search the document and its locale (folder, server, etc) for a list of places to find and put comments, markup, etc. It might also search some private lists as well for comments hosted by communities I'm involved in.

The browser then could check through the identities of the authors of comments, and highlight or hide their comments based on various pools of reputation to which the reader has access.

It's a much richer, more complex, and if done properly, a closer approximation to the way we social humans deal with each other. We're still at Web 0.1, we're not even up the the level of the Vannevar Bush vision of the memex which at least allowed for markup of existing documents.

More later... Virginia's on the move...


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