Thursday, May 20, 2004

Unified notification

It's not push or pull. Control of the channel is a key element, but it doesn't capture the essence of what we are talking about. It's notification.

We want to be notified when things happen, whether it is new content on a blog or "standard" web site, or a stock hits it a target price, or our package is nearing it's destination, or if a storm has a high probability of causing a major power outage, or whatever. We need to have control over what notifications we receive. We want to be able to get all of our notifications in one spot.

The RSS/Atom infrastructure should provide that place. But what a mouthful! And what a hassle to explain. RSS? Atom? Feeds? Feed readers? News readers? The names mean nothing to the average Joe. So why don't we call it notification? The feed --in whatever flavor -- is the Notifier. The client is the Recipient. Simple. To the point. Anyone can instantly get it.

As for the interface, how about a nice, single click button that says, "Notify Me!" and automatically adds the Notifier to your Recipient, regardless of whether your recipient runs on a desktop or a web server?

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