Buddy list is key to future publish/aggregate world

Stowe Boyd has been writing some key posts on and off about making IM and buddy lists the center of a much larger publish/aggregate/communicate/socialize world. In an end-of-April entry he talks some more about AOL’s plans for AIMspace = AIM Pages.

The integration of personal publishing with IM is long overdue. … [AIM Pages] … Looks like the closest thing to the Nerdvana client I have been begging for, where all sorts of information is hanging off the buddylist, like RSS feeds, appointments, and who knows what else. After all, people are the center of the universe, and I want everything arrayed against identities.

Check out the onward links from Stowe to David Card on AOL Building out IM as Community Platform and Richard Siklos New York Times article on AOL: A Punching Bag in Need of a Big Hit.

People sometimes find it hard to believe that we can leverage so much power from a ‘mere’ buddy list; or that it ought to be the centre of our universe. I don’t think it needs to be the centre: but it’s demonstrably a core component of many things that many of us do! For example, check out how BuddyFinder/CORDER can leverage a buddy list to triangulate on the best match to a query, even in the absence of stored user-profiles (by scavenging the web pages of other people on your buddy list to create an ‘inferred profile’).

I don’t think that social search, publishing and aggregation will necessarily be the centre of the universe, but with these new facilities you only need a once-per-year high-impact result to completely alter your online behaviour!

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