Regarding p2p, Dan Bricklin *gets* it.

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From: Adam Rifkin (Adam@KnowNow.Com)
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 14:07:58 PDT

Brilliant, I tell you.

> I think one of the main reasons Napster is successful is that
> you can find what you want (a particular song) and get it easily."

Right! And you are most likely to find stuff you want from people
you trust -- your known friends and new friends you make in the

> It isn't that Napster uses Peer-to-Peer (P2P). That's plumbing,
> and most people don't care about plumbing.

Exactly! p2p is a MEANS to an end, not an end in and of itself.

What *developers* need is a way to experiment with SIMPLE user
interfaces for creating new communities, as Kevin Werbach wrote:

> What makes Napster different is that it's drop-dead simple to use.
> Its interface isn't pretty, but it achieves that magic resonance with
> user expectations that marks the most revolutionary software developments.
> You can understand the legal implications by reading about it,
> but you can't truly "get it" until you've tried Napster yourself.
> From VisiCalc to the Macintosh to Mosaic to the Palm,
> great software advances have always had that impossible-to-articulate

This notion is reinforced by Dan Bricklin's thoughts on p2p:

> Users are not just computer enthusiasts. They care more
> about various forms of content than IP addresses and protocols.

Make the technology invisible and the user experience addictive,
and people will keep coming back for more. In fact,

> The problems with Napster's architecture, while real, are tolerated
> by users because of the nature of the data being shared:

Bricklin rightly points out that it's FRIENDS -- both existing friends
and the serendipity of finding other like-minded individuals -- that
enhances the whole user experience:

> The technique of knowing everybody and how much you can trust them,
> and being able to revoke access or change rules, may be a reasonable
> Explicit lists of network nodes you control in some way and
> will trust (and how much) can lead to useful systems without central
> I'll call this small list of cooperating computers Friend-to-Friend
networking (F2F).

This definitely leverages what we already know about buddy lists from
all the instant messaging work that has been done in the past decade...

> As Dan [Gillmor] says, [Aimster's] use of a list of people you already
> decided you sort of trust "...looks pretty clever":

Of course, this will require entirely new trust models...

> You can't even always trust your friends,
> since once you let the list of friends grow too much and allow gateways
to their lists,
> you need to trust their friends and their friends' friends, etc.

Still, I do believe there's a revolution waiting in the wings?
(Is it a circular reference to regularly refer to revolutions? :)

> You also trust people for different types of judgment:
> You may trust your close relative with your life
> but not with choosing the fabric for your sofa.
> Therefore, the definition of a "friend" may need to be very narrow,
> depending upon what the sharing involves.

Sure does get the mind thinking of things that might be...


I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it. -- Morpheus, _The Matrix_

Kiss my starfish, my chocolate starfish. -- Limp Bizkit, "Hot Dog"

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