Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Communication and collaboration: We have the pieces, but not the puzzle

The geeks of my tribe share two obsessions.

We are obsessed with managing and extending our knowledge.

We are obsessed with communication and collaboration (C&C).

These are good times for us, but they could be much better. We've seen the pieces of the C&C puzzle come and go, almost coming together than spinning away.

Things have gone better on the discovery/notification/subscription side of C&C. We have had email lists and usenet newsgroups (yes, I am old); now we have Atom/RSS Pub/Sub standards, Google Reader (tragically dying), Facebook, Twitter and Google+. There's even Yammer, a corporate clone of Facebook with some G+ thrown in.

Alas, the publication side of C&C has stalled. We have had these pieces wax and wain:
It's frustrating to have the pieces, but not the puzzle. We want a solution that has these features
  1. The power and authoring speed of Windows Live Writer/FrontPage 98 client.
  2. Content display that support both item based and web-like navigation. We had much of this with FrontPage 13 years ago and you can see much of this in Sharepoint 2007's odd wiki. It's very easy to imagine a set of articles appearing as both a blog and a wiki.
  3. Change notification.
Incidentally, we also want this publishing platform to be easily used as a personal platform and a public platform, and we want to the two to optionally synchronize via Dropbox or the equivalent.

Oh, yeah, and it needs to have a published and open API (though it doesn't need to be open source).

This isn't so hard, really. Give me $30 million and I'll make it happen. I promise.

See also:
Update: Since writing this I decided to install the latest version of WLW, which is version 2011. It's dead. I feel the pain of the original Onfolio team. Seeing quality software die is a bit like watching a good kid turn into a career criminal.

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