So although the web has changed out of all recognition in two decades, our underlying metaphor for it probably hasn’t changed that much. And this has the downside that we’re effectively blind to what is actually happening, which is that we are moving from a world of sites and visits to one that is increasingly dominated by streams. The guy who articulates this best is a Yale computer scientist named David Gelernter.
The title of his latest essay on the subject – “The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It” – conveys the basic idea. “The space-based web we currently have will gradually be replaced by a time-based worldstream,” he writes. “This lifestream — a heterogeneous, content-searchable, real-time messaging stream — arrived in the form of blog posts and RSS feeds, Twitter and other chatstreams and Facebook walls and timelines. Its structure represented a shift beyond the ‘flatland known as the desktop’ (where our interfaces ignored the temporal dimension) towards streams, which flow and can therefore serve as a representation of time.
It drives me crazy to see how closed the online dating world is and even if one breaks the glass, there sharply put out of business or bought. Wheres the innovation, really? I already wrote my rough idea which I believe could change the way online dating is done for the better (I won’t even point out how useful the Okcupid journals are)
On top of that is the problem of being stuck in a silo or stuck on one platform. Wheres the data portability? Wheres the interchange? Look at whats happening with Twitter and the whole controlling yourself or owning your own words.
The service bills itself as “Your Social Front Page” and while it currently only offers up the ability to connect Facebook and Twitter to power your Lifestream, it does provide some unique features worth discussing.
So I gave it a try and its not bad, certainly a step in the right direction of what I was proposing with my online dating idea. The problem seems to be is its lack of inputs right now, which there working on. So you can only import from Twitter and Facebook. If they had generic RSS too, that would be great. The best part I like is the ability to control the flow (yes flow rather than creation) of subsets of the data. For example I can set twitter hashtags searches to…
- save tweets to draft, ignore retweets
- publish only tweets, not retweets
- publish tweets and retweets
- save tweets and retweets to draft
- save tweets to draft, ignore retweets
- just show timeline
So you can really craft/curate the page with minimal effort… which means you can’t just insert content unless its coming from somewhere else. Imagine if Facebook or Google+ had the same thing instead of deciding whos going to see it. I would suggest this is the more realistic way to manage a timeline because if its online, everyone sees it anyway (imho). But I digress…
I created one as a test for Perceptive Media…. and you can easily see how I could create one for myself or as a replacement for my dating profile, if I wanted too… So the next stage is to move all the stuff away from a central server and on to my own domain. Something I’ll be looking deeper at in the near future.
One of the most under used parts of OkCupid.com is the journal part.
The journal is like a mini blog for each user on Okcupid, very few people use them but the ones which do generally receive more attention. So its handy to reveal more about yourself, if your not like me linking to there own blog etc.
I tend to use the journal to write about online dating, which is a kind of meta (writing on a dating site about dating sites) but its great for getting opinions from others OKC users. Of course you also great journals from other users too.
One such user published a journal post titled, is online dating passing its prime?
When it was new but past the stigma of being for losers I recall a lot of people going out on online dates and not hating them. I could be projecting but it seems most of my friends seemed to have a bit of fun from online. Now all the blogs and stories and journals are filled with either banality or dating misery. Bad dates, inflated expectations, laundry lists, a consumer mentality, the numbers game, cut and paste messages, perpetual disappointment, deception, no substance. All of these things seems to be the experience of many who online date. I’ve known people, good decent people, who try a couple of dates and remove their profile because it is a lot of work for little payoff.
OKC made a huge mistake by phasing out the journals because that was actually a really decent way to interact with other people. You got to know people, good and bad, over time and sometimes indirectly. It seems much more sophisticated than the typical online dating ritual.
The post goes on but I sent a message to the user sympathising with the thoughts about the online dating and Match.com’s plan to remove journals and other non core stuff from the site. I proposed the idea that social dating (which you could argue Okcupid is a part of) is growing and that kind of fly’s in the face of the old idea of online dating. That user then suggested it might be a generational thing.
I think there is a generational thing going on that is creating a gap for the 30-50 crowd. Those in their early 20s seem to be using Facebook for everything (dating included). But I don’t see too many in their 30s for contacting people who they don’t know well for dates. The other thing is that Facebook isn’t really geared for singles as its purpose isn’t meeting other singles.
Could be right… hopefully this is the kind of discussion we’ll have on Thursday 12th July at the next Relationship 2.0 event.
Everytime I hear or think about the state of online dating, I think about my lifestreaming dating idea, further expressed when reading this post about the mainstream acceptance of lifestreaming…
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Its a interesting concept but I do wonder if we could take the whole thing forward in other areas.
During Christmas I thought I’d do some maintenance to blog because I’ve been meaning to clean up a few things for a while. I’m hosting with GoDaddy.com mainly because there cheap and there pretty hassle free.
I had my /wordpress blog which you might have seen stuff like this at. Then I also had storytlr at the root of the cubicgarden domain and a couple other blogs which I was testing things on like mydreamscape. So I deleted the couple of test wordpress blogs and started putting a axe through storytlr (which is a real shame but I could never get the cron to work). Then I noticed there was no blog in the management option for /wordpress. Which meant yes it was either lost somewhere in the management interface or it was gone….
I was generally pissed off with Godaddy for not making it clear which blog I was deleting. Worst of all, its all happening on bloody Christmas day, when I should be relaxing not wondering what happen to my bloody blog. I almost canceled my contract with Godaddy right there and then, I got a message from the Godaddy twitter account with some somewhat useful information.
I had a backup of my blog from Mid December and I’ve been using Disqus for comments so pretty much everything up till then was safe. All the blog entries I usually write in Blogilo, and I had a backup of all the recent entries. So it was just a matter of digging them out and publishing them again with the correct date stamp.
The first thing you will notice is that the /wordpress is now gone (yeh!) and the lifestream is now finally working (double yeh!).
There is still a lot of work to do. I still need to design the bloody thing and this time I’m hoping to do a proper job. On top of that I’m going to sort out all the external links to my life all over the web, so there all linked here in some logical fashion.
I also need to link up ianforrester.org to my lifestream and add in lots of lovely embedded goodness into my pages.
It was certainly quite hairy at one point but it kind of worked out… Happy Christmas everyone…