[FoRK] insights on Angstro blog

Tom Higgins tomhiggins at gmail.com
Tue Oct 27 16:28:06 PDT 2009

In large part the whole journey of the intertubes since around 96 or
so has been about the filters. Robust, personal, morphable and
permeable filters chuck out the cruft and let you focus on the
possible. In another years the term Expert Systems would have cropped
up  but I think that term has lost as much cred as the term Spice
Girls. Many of the most useful apps I use are filters of sorts, or
filter helpers.

Usenet would have been impossible with out the veneer of that danged
hierarchy to filter down some of the cruft. Add to that what ever
filtering your  news reader could deal with. If you were hitting on
the .binaries you needed a whole other set of help

Email as well, without white/black list the late 90's/early 00's would
have been more hell then they were. Watching the spamfilter wars you
could see in a very real manner the importance of proper filtration
hygine. Wave just amplifies that need.

Social filters helped bring out and mute down the stream of tasty bit
that demanded to be devoured, many times the value of my friends
filters went a long way into helping me with my own. With our ever
increasing circle of socialite "friends" to add to our mix though it
seemed filters were needed for our possible filter sources. It was not
good enough that I know you , i need to know that you  knew a little
ablut me as well and that we both had at least a few shaded(y) areas
on our venn diagrams.

Geospacial tagging of data/feed items/sources would be nice. Not just
though from proximity marketing or AR fun. Temporal tagging  has some
promise as well. Being able to see historic trends rise and fall like
so much snow globe glitter could prove harvestable/useful. Look at all
the misery you can bring on with Wayback:)-

Yet at the bottom of the pile of filter turtles there is me though,
changeable pissoffable moody me and if my filters are to be of any use
they had better be able to move with the big guy. This is why I am
still the last line arbiter  on both the input and output of whatever
filtration method(s)/device(s) are being used.

Which is why I very much wish FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Good Reads  and a
host of other apps/services would open things up some so even pheezers
like me can grab the streams and plug them into our own filtering
methods such that the outputs are not so fractured across sources.
Google's recent Social Circle idea has some promise, so would
something like Pipes...better yet would be just let me have at a
simple set of perl/php/python widgets from which  I could bodge
something up in bash and thus bang on all the feeds/apis to get at the
Grand Unified Filtered

A while back I worked up a stupid simple set of rss/email gegaws to
work with my Tux Driod. It was hella nice till I got tired of the
voices...even the better more bitfull sample sets can wear on you
after a while...plus the wife and kids were wondering about my sanity
as I kept talking back to it(and my wife at least realized there was
no code or device really listening) My dream version would have a base
vocab set done up by Stepehn Fry, whose clock sound samples I have
been mucking around with. Brill.

Thats one of the things I keep coming back to on the filter front,
even back in my BBS days. All that output needs a better way to get to
me. I recently started using Cailber to take my google reader feed and
stuff it in a daily crafted epub. I also use places like
Spokenword.org to gather up the net/podcasts I know i want hear.

So all this to say if this is the trending  dev focus, heck yea and more of it.

-tom(who looks to Mark Bittman for his minimalistfu)higgins

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