Jack Vinson on the “me collector”

Jack Vinson
Knowledge management guru Jack Vinson had a lot of advice for scattered content creators like me.

In response to my post yesterday, I want one place for all my content, knowledge management guru and very cool guy Jack Vinson (who I finally got to meet at BlogHer) posted an elaborate list of almost-options that address various aspects of this puzzle.

See: The elusive me collector. Excerpt:

“The basics of the problem are pretty familiar: content I generate is scattered across many websites of varying degrees of openness. Blogs, wikis, forums, social networks, paid publications, mailing lists, photos, videos, podcasts, … But there isn’t a place where all of that stuff comes together. At the high level the needs are: automatic; item-level controls; permanence; tags; re-mixability.

“I don’t think anything I’ve run across, beyond your standard feed aggregator, has the ability to do something with the resulting aggregated content. Amy suggested that she would like to be able to categorize / tag the content, selectively share it, re-mix it, analyze it, feed it out to something else…. Essentially, ‘it’s my stuff, let me play with it.'”

Yeah. What he said.

Oh, yes, of course I checked — and I now own the domain mecollector.net. I’ll give it away to anyone who can prove they can put together a tool that does what I asked for. Go for it, geeks!

Modbook: Looks cool, but worth the price?

Other World Computing
The Axiotron Modbook Mac tablet: Coming 4Q 2007 (allegedly), with a hefty price tag.

One thing I love about blogging is that other people collectively know so much more than I do.

Yesterday I posted about how badly I want an Apple tablet PC. Promptly, Avram commented: “Have you heard of the Axiotron ModBook? It’s a MacBook hacked into a tablet Mac with a pressure-sensitive drawing surface. Not actually shipping yet (‘fourth quarter of 2007,’ supposedly).”

Well, no. I hadn’t head. I checked it out, and it looked quite cool — possibly offering most of what I want in a mobile content creation device.

Apparently this device caused quite a stir at Macworld this year, and it was supposed to be available by May 2007. That didn’t happen. On July 17, Ars Technica reported that the ship date has been pushed back to the end of this year due to parts shortages. I hope this doesn’t end up being vaporware.

But the price tag? OUCH!!!!Continue reading

I’m dreaming of an Apple tablet…

Apple, via USPTO
More than a year ago, Apple filed a patent application for something that looked like this.

(UPDATE July 31: Looks like one option, the Axiotron Modbook, is coming later this year, with a huge price tag…) 

Yeah, the iPhone is cool and all… I’ve seen a few friends playing with theirs, and I’ve even played with one a bit, but it’s not for me.

First of all, I’m not a phone person. Talking on the phone is not my favorite thing to do. I limit my phone use to catching up with family and friends, coordinating with people while traveling, and phone meetings with clients and colleagues.

Second of all, I really want a good mobile content creation and publishing system. I guess I never got over being inspired by Max Headroom. The iPhone just doesn’t do it for me in that regard — that tiny touchpad keyboard, too-small screen for easy web browsing, no inputs for video or audio devices, grrrrr.

What I need is a good tablet PC. Something small enough to carry easily, versatile enough to deal with many kinds of content and connections (wifi, cell, ethernet, USB, Bluetooth), and something I can type or sketch on easily.

Not just that, I want Apple to produce a great tablet PC…

Continue reading

I want one place for all my content: Pipe dream?

I keep having this vision. I hope it will come about someday. There’s no way I’m the only person who’d want this. (UPDATE July 31: Nope, I’m not — Jack Vinson chimed in on this theme.)

The problem: Most of the content I’ve created does not live on my computer. It’s all over the web — my own blogs, comments to others’ blogs, my clients’ blogs, forums, e-mail lists, social media sites, media-sharing services, podcasts, wikis…. You get the picture. Consequently, I run the risk of “losing” much of the fruit of my hard work. In fact, that’s already happened. Sites or forums I contributed to years ago no longer exist. Blog comments don’t get indexed well by search engines and vanish into the ether.

Imagine this solution: A web-based service where I could archive all my content similar to Furl, only I could choose to make all or part of my archive public and shareable because it’s my content, not violating others’ copyright. Every piece of my content would get a unique, permanent URL, so I don’t have to worry if a site dies or changes. Any post I make to a forum or e-mail list would also get stored there (not the whole thread with others’ work, just my contribution).

And I could tag it all, share it selectively, generate feeds, and apply analysis tools to it. Plus incorporate whatever new cools tools come down the pike.

I want it. I want it bad. Do you, too? Does it already exist somewhere and I don’t know about it? Please comment below.