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Re: Is a Perfect Storm Forming For Distributed Social Networking?

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 13:13:25 +0100
To: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Cc: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, public-xg-socialweb@w3.org
Message-Id: <1250079205.32500.61.camel@ophelia2.g5n.co.uk>
On Wed, 2009-08-12 at 11:29 +0100, Dave Raggett wrote:
> Would you mind expanding on that? I've skimmed the OpenMicroBlogging 
> spec [1] and it seems to only deal with a means to allow users of 
> one microblogging service to publish notices to users of another 
> service, given the other users' permission, and relying upon OAuth. 
> I don't see how it supports load balancing, for instance.

Essentially OMB helps with load balancing gives you distributed profiles
- if peoples' profiles are on different servers, then load on one
profile doesn't have to effect load on others.

Messages end up distributed to more than one server. CiaranG subscribes
to my microblog, so my notices can be found in his stream should my own
server temporarily disappear <http://micro.ciarang.com/ciarang/all>.

The laconica/OMB architecture certainly seems to represent a big
improvement over centralised social networks.

While individual profiles are not hosted in a P2P manner - each is tied
to a particular server - the network as a whole is.

> Retaining HTTP based identifiers for resources whilst
> using P2P protocols for dereferencing them

In the example of my notices on CiaranG's microblog, his installation of
laconica knows the full absolute HTTP URI of each of my notices, a full
copy of the notice text, and certain data about me, the author of them,
so could certainly be used to dereference the URI, maybe not providing
the exact same byte-for-byte representation of the resource, but
providing something "close enough" (e.g. maybe a different HTML

> Supporting a mix of social web features, including
> traditional SNS, blogs, wikis and messaging (tweets)

There is nothing in the OMB draft spec that inherently limits it to
messages of 140 characters or less - this is an arbitrary restriction
which could easily be lifted. That would allow longer articles, wiki
diffs and potentially even full videos to be distributed in a similar

Toby A Inkster
Received on Wednesday, 12 August 2009 12:14:10 UTC

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