My good friend Dave posted this.

Scripting News: 12/12/2005 : Here's a serious thought. Google Base is all about RSS, right? That's cool. I understand RSS, and I like it. And no one owns it, dammit. But everyone's all concerned (rightly so, imho) about turning over our data to Google. How do we know they won't put ads in our stuff without our permission? And without paying us? How do we know they won't change what we say? We've been through this before, and they won't even talk about it with us! How about that for snarky.

So here's an idea, let's start a company, hire some great people to run our database. Instead of being the users in "user-generated content," we'll be the owners. The former sounds like a hamster in a cage, to me. An owner is someone who commands respect. We could wear badges and give ourselves business cards that say Owner. Forget about being a hamster. I want to be an owner!

I've already talked about this idea with friends with huge pipes and big databases who know how to run things reliably, and they find the idea interesting. But so far they haven't said they'll do it.

So I've done a load of work on Google Base, and right now it sucks. It's an unstable alpha. Craigslist is irritatingly local and it's horribly Web 0.9. eBay is all about money, not classifieds. A web 2.0 version of Craigslist with tags and AJAX and maps and APIs and RSS coming out of it's ears sounds like a good plan. And there's some real serendipity available if you link it with a publisher driven Ads system like BlogAds. Post your listing, have it turn up all over the place via RSS and including in the Ads on relevant Blogs.

I want to do this, and I've now got a lot of experience after building a tag based listings service into Ecademy. I was seriously thinking about building it as a Drupal module, but the tag support in Drupal was going off in a direction that didn't help me.

Anyone else want to play at this? Drop me a line at julian_bond at

[edited to add] As all the major blog systems add support for tags, they become a neat way of working out relevance for Ads placed on the blog. Just match off the tags added by the advertiser with the tags added by the blogger. Then pick a random Ad from the intersection.

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[ 13-Dec-05 8:33am ] [ , ]