John extends the ideas in Retiring the Browser.
So what if we moved personal information properly to the edge too. What if we took it all back and made it available locally in a standardised form that was completely under our control?
Exactly. I think it was Dave Winer who came up with an idea a few years ago about a structured text file that we could all maintain for ourselves and that was hosted in a standard position on our home page. I vaguely remember it being called something like biz.txt but don't quote me.
It would have all our publicly available information from phone numbers and email addresses to qualifications, business skills yadda yadda. Maybe a public one and an encrypted "personal contacts" one for those to whom we want to provide more information.
It would then be trivial to maintain that file (my PIM could automatically update it and ftp it to the site every time I added a new bit to the puzzle - I might even GET a PIM) and everyone else's PIM could access it and update their own records as needed.
The fundamental problem with Plaxo-type services is that they are intermediaries and if they fail, as some of them will, or if they start charging fees that I balk at paying, my identity vanishes from the network. Not what I want.
The data should sit in my domain and when you need it you know where to find it, and whenever I update it, that change propagates throughout my network of contacts in a day. facing a shift to new Zealand in a couple of months, the last bit I want to deal with is the changes of phone numbers and physical addresses that we will have to deal with.
I would LOVE to be able just to update my biz.txt file and forget it. Especially at Christmas card time.
Oh, and thanks for finding the typo John. Fixed