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Monday, June 27, 2005


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It appears that Trackback is smarter than I am...

"Let me make use of my attention data, but don't forget to give me the option to decide when it's used on my behalf."

How would these various services -- from different companies -- give my attention data back to me? Presumably, each of these services is going to accumulate and use my data in different ways. It seems to me that to maintain ownership of my attention data, I cannot commit it to an application that won't give in back in a standard (or one of several "standard") formats. But no such standard exists. (Does it?)

In what format do I get my attention data back? How do I even know in what format I want my data?

This is not a criticism of your post, but I am confused trying to tease it out.

Hey nick, Adam Curry mentioned it in his podcast. He gave the keynote speech (at the end) of GnomeDex.

Dan, that was actually going to be the subject of a follow-up post :) I figured if I talked about formats in this post, the conversation would turn into "format A is better" rather than the concerns that are more important to end users.

I'll post specifically about formats (ie: attention.xml, opml, etc.) later on, but for now, let's just accept the fact that for attention data to be shared, we will need to agree on a common format. FWIW, I personally don't care which format is used because the hard part isn't storing attention data, but instead collecting it in the first place.

I most certinally want to keep control over my data. I want to be able to share it with open source tools as well as billion dollar companies so their products can work together.

To Dan: I can understand you confusion but I think what Nick means is that your data will stay on your system in a standard format that anyone can use if you allow them to. Say Nick updates FeedDemon so that it can suggest feeds to you (kind of like a search channel but a transparent one based on what you are already subscribed to). With the Windows RSS APIs, Nick will be able to make a simple call to this central database and get all the information he needs, what Nick does with it doesn't really matter (technically here, not ethically) as he has all the information on the format that the data is delivered in and he can work with that.

What I get from Nick's post is that he wants us to voice our opinions that we want to keep our "attention data" in a format/location we can access it and have control over who gets it and when.

I would like to see an implementation similar to what is in Outlook. When another application tries to use a feature of Outlook you get a prompt saying "Program XYZ wants access" and you can allow/deny access as you wish.

I am also with Nick on trusting MS with this. MS has changed over the past year or so. Look at things like Channel 9 and the number of blogs they have available! They are very active in the RSS game when it comes to providing content, now they need a tool which their users can use to make handling all that data easily.

One thing I am wondering though is how will web services such as NewsGator be able to use all of these great new features in Windows Longhorn? Will they have to rely on client applications like FeedDemon (or perhaps a smaller transparent program)?

Morgan, that's a good description - thanks.

Great post, Nick! I agree and in a followup on my blog, what I want of these companies who aim to use my "attention data" is to have a symbiotic relationship, one where I receive a better service and if they gain profit from that, so be it.

Don't have a blog, so I'll just say this...

/signed (including Jack's point turning it off)

Nick, I'm glad you're thinking about the format issue. Sorry for jumping a few steps ahead, but I thought your main point -- that we need to maintain ownership and control over our attention data -- was so non-controversial, I was ready to move on to what I thought might be a thornier issue. I'll refrain from any further format-related comments until you propose to move on to that topic.

Gmail already has RSS, correct?

Looks like we beat Microsoft to the market with our solution, as did RSSCalendar. Managing your personal and business connections with RSS so they are always correct.


Bold move Nick. I, for one, personally believes that MS should work with W3C in changing the specs instead of jumping out and changing a language, yet again.

MS has never gone through proper channels to get a language change. They feel cause they are of the size they are, they can just do anything they want. Announcement to alter RSS aka break it, is a good example.

What's your view on that one? What would W3C feel or the other RSS implementers? One of the biggest beefs a web developer has about MS is the *lack* of following the standards. Now they are opening admitting they are *not* going to do it, again, you're going to follow foot?

I believe this is important. Thanks for blogging about it.

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