I have been digging into the 'Digital Lifestyle Aggregators' (DLAs) concept these last days. I'm not sure if have it straight already, but here's some prelimiary thoughts:
- What is it about? Aggregating the digital lifestyle of - whom? Me. You. But for whom?
- What is to be aggregated? The 'digital lifestyle' itself can't be aggregated, so obviously it must be about aggregating the 'artefacts' of a digital lifestyle. Playlists, reviews, reports, opinions, discussions etc. (ah, let's not forget social networks!)
There's some points I have a little trouble with:
- Does a DLA aggregate all my artefacts in one place? Or does a DLA aggregate the - pick'n'choose - artefacts from other people for me?
- Does a DLA require me to 'join' anything? If that is the case, it won't work (well) for existing communities. Some dicussion boards have built up a very cool and expert following in one very specific area. Trying to get that community to adopt the DLA idea will be near impossible. But those communities are most likely the most valuable. Anything that requires a 'fresh start' to work will be arteficial at best.
I think a lot of my thoughts circle around the (for me) old back-and-forth between 'semantic web' and 'datamining of unstructured text'. My belief is simply that anything that requires extra effort or limits expression in any way is doomed. That's why I'm so into mining unstructured text. People are inherently lazy. The write up their thoughts and post them. A human learns to make sense of those words. We can't require the authors to do anything beyond learning to write a clear argument. That's hard enough to do. And even if the author is willing to do meta-info etc, is she technically savy enough to use the tech?
This is becoming a srean-of-thought kind of thing. Well, it's just my 'process' of understanding DLAs.
And then there is this 'in-roads' thing again. Like my current process of trying to grasp the concepts. All this 'aggregation' does (currently) not help newcomers to 'get it'. This is where things like Squidoo come in again. Focussed lenses highlingthing the important pieces of the content that are needed to establish the context to fully appreciate the current flow.
- when do you want something the most?
- Are you going to do this anyway?
- why Squidoo is better than DMOZ or Wikipedia
- good at waiting?
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