It's time to clean up around here.
This is the first redesign of Fimoculous in a couple years. Although it might look like I've merely thrown a bunch of widgets on the page, it's actually intended to signal a notion that I've lately been bouncing off people: the future of blogging is self-aggregation.
In a sense, we're going back to the future. Blogs are starting to take on more of a "personal homepage" feel -- a collection of media, writing, lists, reviews, events, geography, etc. In other words, we're introducing structured data into what was previously just a text-based form. Certainly, you see this in Six Apart's release of Vox, and you also see it in places like MSN Spaces. But that's just the start -- someone could probably start a whole business based around the idea of personal pages that do nothing except aggregate personal content from various online services (and don't think I haven't thought about it).
This shift wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the prolonged advance of webservices and APIs. This page, for instance, uses webservices from Amazon.com, Upcoming.org, MNspeak.com, and Flickr.com -- and there are several others I'm considering. There are potential disadvantages to using all these external utilities to store your data (such as making it searchable) but there are also possible solutions to those problems (such as personal indexing).
+ To the left is the link factory. Somebody is immediately going to gripe that there's no longer a single list of today's links, but please try out this taxonomy before turning on your pretty hate machine. Maybe I'll add ways to sort the entire list later.
+ Everything at the bottom of the page is aggregation. (Except the "Conversation" box, which is still hand-coded until I figure out if I should use Co.mments, CoComment, or something else to track my conversations.)
+ If I had a GPS device that could transmit my location as a machine-readable file (anyone know of such a thing?), then I could broadcast my location.
+ What if I exposed metrics and user data? Or included Technorati data of others talking about the same topics? And then, what if I graphed it!?
+ What if I included vanity searches?
+ Upcoming.org's API includes GPS data, so I could at least start mapping the location of events. I haven't looked into it yet, but maybe Dodgeball would give me some geo-tagged data too.
+ If friggin MySpace would adopt any kind of API (Tom, you are not my friend), I could do cool stuff, such as show my recent adds, friend mashups, etc. (I coincidentally met Marc Canter of People Aggregator at Gnomedex last weekend. He's been on the forefront of web standards, but I worry that MySpace will be a long uphill battle to join.)
Once you start thinking of your life as aggregation potential, you start to wonder about all kinds of possibilities. ("How dangerous would it be to expose my clickstream?") Although this isn't revoluationary thinking, I like the idea that this site updates even when I'm not explicitly creating content for it. When you start to think about your blog as a receptacle for capturing all parts of your online life (and perhaps even your non-digital life), you can start to imagine a constantly updating page of personal data. To get metaphysical for a moment, the self-aggregator becomes another version of you.