What They Do:
Building super specific software for communities is awesome. If someone wants to make an application to map cats in their neighborhood, I will build it. The problem is, how do I make my cat database useful to the rest of the world?
I want to create ontologies for communication. These will manifest themselves as digital document schemas that groups can use to talk to each other in a distributed fashion.
"What?": Glad you asked. http://activitystrea.ms = ontologies for social communication on the internet. http://akomantoso.org = ontologies for legislative communication between governments. If a community defines it’s own communication protocols then there will always be an open and accessible way to participate in a distributed network because the network will be built on top of the community built protocol.
The antithesis of this idea is a monolith like Facebook who created a proprietary communication protocol and has no motivating factor for participating in a distributed system other than user backlash.
Take a form of communication, like a group bike ride. Break it down into the smallest pieces: participants, route, start time, end time, theme, things you should bring
Take those pieces and have a nerd convert them into a digital schema. Give your schema a name. Share your schema with the world in a centralized repository. Now anyone in the world who wants to build software the enables users to plan group bike rides can incorporate your schema into their design and as a by product their group bike rides will be automatically readable by all systems in the world capable interpreting group bike rides.
Lessons They’ve Learned
Information silos suck. They suck even more when you realize they are a product of ‘Not invented here’ syndrome, which is an extension of nationalistic bias where you choose to re-invent the wheel because you fail to comprehend how someone who is ‘different’ than you could have possibly made something useful. Another motivating factor for information silos is private interest, which also sucks.
I want information to be freely accessible to everyone, and to do that we have to start by defining what information is interesting to us.
Who They Would Like to Meet:
Do you have knowledge of anything that you ever might want to share with someone else (examples: scavenger hunts, group dinners, book clubs)? Can you describe this ‘thing’ and all of it’s individual components?
I would like to collect as many in depth descriptions of social activities as possible in order to contribute digital representations of those activities into a centralized activity repository such as ActivityStreams.