i’m really turned on to creating feeds for everything (directories, objects on a page). conceptually what that does is set up a new virtual filesystem across the net. this in itself is simply the well-formed net – the xml+URI filesystem. but what this does bring is a public api. all information becomes easily and directly accessed – ‘open’ for business.
the first websites were like a pamphlet which read ‘there’s a new business. come visit’. the second generation websites had a slot in the door so you could leave a message. the third generation invited you in and gave you lots of beautiful things to look at, but placed everything behind a window. the fourth generation brings you into an interactive store. you can look at everything (which is for sale or use). you can even pick it up and take it home. it is optimized to encourage use, first and foremost.
this is obviously our highest goal as systems designers. we spend so much time and energy promoting growth and more transactions/interactions. we’ve been misguide by the idea that man is selfish. altruism doesn’t exist, but then neither does selfishness. we aim to do one thing. connect. there is equal pleasure from giving as receiving.
we need to encourage this kind of involvement. the web can be such an interesting system if it becomes an expression of how we want to live. do we want to share our information? we never really lose that which we share. we only ever lose the products we invent from our sharing. but the ideas that led to those creations. those are the things we need to protect and we can’t do this in escrow. we need to open the system up and make sure everyone can preserve them.