FoRK vs. Intelligent Agents

Ian Andrew Bell (
Wed, 08 Apr 1998 18:05:26 -0700

I'll place a vote for inviting to the list --
she's got spunk! I rarely surf the female URLs on VOID but I'm pretty
bored while waiting to go to my hockey game this evening, and pow! Go get

What say Adam reels 'em in and we FoRKers throw 'em into the boat?

Anyhow. I've begun thinking (as I'm sure has been discussed before) of the
FoRK mailing list as my own personal information source. By showing me
things that I invariably want to see it's starting to serve more and more
as my intelligent agent. Collectively, we spend a lot of time viewing and
gathering information relevant to each other and dissemanating it; sharing
bits for communal consumption that we might miss were it conveyed
otherwise. This works well because we have shared interests and (except
for Tim) similar personalities.

Could the REAL killer app of the net in fact NOT be intelligent agents, but
instead communities of interest? I suppose in some way that this is
possible, either as the real tool or as a duct-tape and string interim
solution, but how well does it scale? What happens when FoRK becomes 1000
members instead of 60? How focused do our interest sets have to be for it
to work well?

FoRK has almost everything I look for: stimulating tech news & talk, pop
culture bits, books & music, discussions of relationship angst, politics,
etc. But we all are not exactly identical people... how much alike do we
have to be, and how can we build systems to bring people who fit within the
threshold together? Could bring forth an answer?

Hmph. Sorry CobraBoy, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a
joke at your expense..



Ian Andrew Bell
Enhanced IP Services Development Manager (604) 482-5708
BC TEL Interactive
"Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot."