Growing forums

Exploring the Harvard Weblogs environment, I just ran across a question from Phillip Greenspun about his Solar Magnitude Forum. The subject is dear to my mind, along with aviation and photography, two more of Phillip’s deep interests. The bottom line: This would be a good Computer Science master’s degree project. If you are interested in our help, please contact us via email.

1 comment

  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Doc,
    Consider what kind of code would be required to allow you to replace this blog and its comment mechanism with one based ONLY on web 1.0 (read only pages), instead of server based comments added to a database.
    I don’t think it can be done.

    At some point, there has to be a database, somewhere, that can at least accept pointers to submissions for comments, if not the comments themselves.

    The alternative is to have to spider the known web and look for trackbacks. Clearly not something within the reach of a person with even a Gigabit ethernet connection.

    I envision decoupling the comments themselves from the database to list them. I further see spreading this out into a list of places to look. This helps reduce the dependency on an particular comment store (AKA Silo).

    The tagging could be done there as well, with the format and scope of tags defined by the comment site, and not limited to those of the original blog.

    Free tagging and commentary on existing web pages… I believe this is the route to the future… and especially to VRM.

    How so?

    Imagine you see a product somewhere… you fire up your tagging/annotation plugin and indicate you wish to learn more about this. Your computer / browser/ phone / whatever, publishes this data to your list of comment servers, along with a copy to your archives.

    Any of us who subscribe to your comment streams, or encounter the same product, could then discover your interest in it, on the original page, seamlessly.

    This is MY vision of VRM.

    What do you think?

    –Mike–

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