Friday, July 27, 2012

Twitter-like service from existing techs

Today I came across a blog entry by Dave Winer.  (BTW, I wanted to mention that it was a serendipitous discovery to see his blog via Hacker News.  I am still in search for a tool that can provide articles like this systematically.)  In his entry, An Open Twitter-like Ecosystem, he laid out his vision of putting together open social news feed based on existing publicly available technologies.  Key idea that he advocates is using RSS and DNS entries to create easy subscription experience for all users.

Winer's blog sparked a couple of questions in my head:

1. There are other examples where a solution to a problem can be created by integrating available solutions.    Twitter-like system using RSS and DNS would be one such example.  I am trying to think of other examples, but couldn't think of any good example.  But my intuition tells me that there are success stories as well as failures.  Why would some succeed while others fail, if any?

2. Why is it that there are not many examples of these cases?  Is it because I am not aware of successful cases or because it is rare?  What makes it rare?

Ultimately I am wondering whether there are basic components to most of these problems, and whether we can re-use these components in solving other problems.

Reading Winer's blog, I recognize a few well-defined components of social feed service:

1. Identity management
2. Post your update
3. Feed subscription service
4. Displaying subscribed feeds
5. Integration with existing social networks
6. Alerting

I think with features #1 through #5 will be enough to launch a social feed service, an alternative option to Twitter and Facebook.  Let's see how the next Twitter-like system solves this problem.  Could it be

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