With all the fury of Facebook washing over us, a new app space is glimmering, waiting to be snatched up. Social networking sites are transforming into aggregators as they open up their platforms, often rewalking the steps of those who have come before them. Over on Kottke.org, Jason Kottke has written a post entitled: “Facebook is the new AOL“. In his post he points to another article by Scott Heiferman warning of the dangers of buying into proprietary platforms merely to gain access to their walled-off citizens.
Jason worries about the cost of developing for “30 different platforms” and he’s absolutely right. After a market stabilizes, the option with the least appreciable overhead will ultimately become the platform of choice.
Demand is showing that here lies an opportunity for a social client-server app running on an open standard. Functioning much like an email client which acts as an interface to your mail via SMTP or IMAP, this will be the one centralized location for all your networking, messaging, blogging and personal publishing needs.
Creating hybrid online/offline applications tailored to specific tasks allows the best of both worlds with local, powerful storage and processing while maintaining the always-on receive capability of a mail server. Extending the existing naming structure of email addresses would provide an intuitive and logical method of accessing a user’s individual space across open protocols.
Why can’t I access my personal profile at http://firstname.lastname@example.org ?