[PP-main] What should be syndicated?

Rusty Foster rusty at intes.net
Fri Mar 3 00:20:13 CET 2000

Part 2...

> * What can/should be syndicated?
>   Well, the news items/stories are the obvious thing. In addition, several
>   other aspects of sites have been mentioned as candidates for syndication.
>   Personally, I'm positive to this, but I strongly feel the other things
>   should be optional. Optional to export, and optional to import. In
>   addition, they should probably take second place in implementation, so they
>   wait until after the basic news wire service has been implemented, and
>   works. Things that have been mentioned are:

I'd favor a kind of "selection of content objects" approach. Obviously,
stories should be our first priority, and the testbed of the system. But
the general scheme I'd recommend is that you can choose "things" to
import and export. If you choose to import "stories," there will be some
mandatory parts to each story. Title, author, attribution, etc. Same
with "discussions," "user accounts," what have you.

I'm really interested in the discusssion syndication idea, myself, so we
should make sure any system is flexible enough to accommodate things
that are perhaps more complicated than stories.

>   * Discussions.
>     Could work, probably requires a bit of infrastructure. Also, the
>     bandwidth needs increase quite a bit, and it's heavily dependent on
>     syndicating things like user accounts and whatnot to work (see below).
>     Also, I'm not sure if the gain is *that* great, this is a thing that
>     might inflate the community sizes to beyond managable levels again. But I
>     also see the interesting idea cross-pollination aspect of it... What do
>     you guys think?

I think syndicating discussions is actually something that could help
keep community sizes *down* to a managable level. Rather than having to
make an account on a dozen weblogs, and troll through them all for my
daily dose of news and commentary, I could stick to a site where the
people speak my language (both literally and figuratively!) and still
get content from far and wide. If the barrier to entry is low enough,
then sites could proliferate and maintain their smallish, loyal readers,
rather than bloating to slashdot-like proportions.

There would need to be selection criteria and filters for what parts of
the discussion get syndicated (all of it? Only comments with some kind
of high rating? Comments from certain users?). This is obviously a
multifacted problem, and we need to make the system flexible enough to
accommodate the n^2 types of filtering that could be done.

>   * User accounts.
>     This is something I like. Perhaps we could/should do a central
>     authentication server, so that you log into one place, and get a
>     ticket/cookie thing, Kerberos style, that you carry with you around.
>     Would make it easy to set your preferences, user info, etc., etc. in one
>     place, and this feature is also fundamental to sharing discussions, trust
>     metrics, etc.

I second and third that.

>   * Trust metrics.
>     This one, I really like. It needs to be figured out, but I can see
>     several options. One is a basic shared trust metric, like Advogato's, but
>     shared between sites. Another is to do different trust metrics that
>     influence each other, so that for instance the admin of site A thinks
>     site B metrics have a relevance of 0.5 for site A, so they play in half
>     as strong as the native ratings. Or you could do entirely user-centered
>     metrics, where what you see and how people are rated is determined by
>     your own ratings only. Or a combination. The advantages is that it's
>     low-bandwidth, and could be a truly unique thing we could show off with a
>     lot. Raph, you're the trust metrics guy, what are your opinions? And
>     other people too, of course.

I'll leave this mostly to the trust metric geeks on the list. :-)

> * What should the Peer Press site itself do/have?
>   I mentioned on Advogato the possibility of making Peer Press itself a
>   discussion site, the target audience being the writers, publishers and
>   other people related to Peer Press. I don't think a forum like this really
>   exists anywhere (except for general journalism newsgroups/mailing lists),
>   and it could probably be a very interesting forum in itself. I wonder if
>   the people who admin/write for/contribute to web logs/news sites are as
>   varied a group as I imagine they could be. What are your opinions on this?
>   The site should also offer an index of member sites, info on how to make
>   your site a member, how to get a feed, etc., etc.

Here's where I see the prupose of PeerPress as being really *two*
separate things.

* Thing one is to design and codify a protocol by which web content may
be shared and distributed. 
* Thing two is to set up an implementation of such a system. 

We need to keep in mind though, that PeerPress need not be the *only*
such implementation, or system. So a caveat: make sure we distinguish
between discussing protocol issues, and implementation issues.

I agree that that's probably what PeerPress should be. A gateway into
the system for potential member sites, and possibly a kind of "central
feed" which could highlight the newest stories, and provide a kind of
system-wide hall of fame (widest distributed stories, most discussed
stories, etc etc). In addition, it should be a forum for discussion of
PeerPress (the protocol), PeerPress (the system), and web publishing
issues in general.

Part three: Technical issues. Coming soon to an INBOX near you. :-)


|      Rusty Foster       | "You can never entirely stop being what   |
|   rusty at kuro5hin.org    | you once were. That's why it's important  |
|    rusty at intes.net      | to be the right person today, and not put |
| http://www.kuro5hin.org | it off till tomorrow."        -Larry Wall |

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