IDEA #23 – Your Syndicated Chronological Life
Ever wondered what you do all day? OK – you likely know that now, but curious what you were doing last month? Or last year? How about what your friends are up to? Excellent post by Emily Chang today regarding an RSS mashup she’s done for herself. She’s mashing up all her social RSS feeds — Flickr, Last.fm, her blogs, twitter, her events at upcoming.org, plazes, etc. They’re all being pulled together, timestamped, and stored in a database on her server — then fed out as one big data stream. Talk about a stalker’s paradise.
She’s using a plugin called feedgrab (odd it doesn’t have own URL) by Andrew Weaver. She mentions one of the problems she had run into in the past was hosted solutions (e.g. flickr RSS feed is hosted at flickr.com) — I also wonder how long those hosted RSS feeds last for (or how many items are in them). Also, multiple servers are going to have multiple timestamps. Her solution runs on her own server, pulls from the various RSS feeds in real-time, stores the entries on her server, and follows one consistent timestamp.
So who’s going to create this for the rest of us? You could either set one up for yourself, or if you knew all the usernames for your friend on various services, you could
stalk set one up on them.
There’s endless possibilities of this thing. If everyone’s activity is tracked using one set timestamp — you could compare your stream against everyone else in the database, and see who was listening to something at the same time as you. You could see who was at the same event as you. You could see who was at the same restaurant as you.
You could see how often you frequent places — you could see how often others do.
For the company that launches this business — there’s plenty of monetization opportunity. Anytime someone is viewing their timeline — you could show related advertising. Someone visits Starbucks alot? Seattle’s Best has a location right nearby — here’s a $1 off coupon. Someone listens to Bruce Springsteen? Well, have they heard of Will Hoge?
Talk about a MySpace widget that some people would love — “here world, here’s a (mostly) complete record of what I’m doing online and offline.”
Looks like in the comments of Emily’s post there are a few companies trying similar things — Slifeshare, which requires a Mac it appears with the Slife Labs client installed (which tracks your activities — “activity browser”). AOL IM will alert you of updates to specific RSS feeds (doesn’t appear to store this info for an extended period of time). Also, Fred Wilson had posted about Root Vaults, which he uses with Attention Trust (to track his clicks) that stores all of his online activity. Fred has another great post talking about this type of stuff here — it’ll give you some more ideas.