February 11, 2008

Should My Radio Know If I'm Listening?

Trying to catch up with what's been happening on the web whilst I've been too busy to blog...

The first thing I want to point you at is part of Matt Webb's recent presentation to Web Directions North 2008. The main thrust is about how we could extend RSS readers to let you process to-do list items more quickly, and is something I've thought about off and on since he and I exchanged a couple of emails when he first mooted the concept he's now named SNAP. As he's found, it's not quite ready for primetime, so it'll be a while before we introduce it to tedium. However, some of the other concepts (like the state machine for GTD) fit quite well with things we are working on, and it's nice to have a way of explaining it.

But the main reason that this isn't just a del.icio.us link is because of the future challenges for the web that he lays out at the end of the talk. In particular, the slides about groups.

I think designing software that's used by groups rather than individuals is going to become an increasing problem as computing escapes from computers and into other devices. I don't have any decent answers, but it's something I have thought about a bit. It's obvious that you don't want people to have to log in before they can use their radio, so I think the only other option is to have the radio notice who's around.

The easiest way to achieve that today would be for it to track Bluetooth devices - if my phone is in the room, there's a fair chance that I'll be in the room too. The only problem with that is that by encouraging us all to wander around with Bluetooth turned on we're also encouraging everyone to open themselves up to being tracked everywhere. Maybe our phones need to become cleverer about who they reveal their presence to, but then we've just shifted the difficult interaction from the radio to the phone...

Posted by Adrian at February 11, 2008 11:18 AM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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