Re: online desktop APIs


Andrew Sobala wrote:
What's important from the user experience is not having to rely on Mugshot-as-social-network. Virtually none of my friends use mugshot - they all use facebook.

Definitely - the idea of Mugshot is not to replace Facebook (or the other stuff people use). It doesn't have and isn't planned to have most of those features.

Mugshot is a couple different things that are relevant here:

 1) it's just a server. Several of the apps that comprise
 "Mugshot" really are pretty unrelated to one another to
 various degrees. We can run whatever code on this server we need.
 There are some services such as account creation, etc. that all
 code on it can use.

 2) it's a "see everything your friends are doing online" application
 in particular, that looks at music people are playing, blog posts,
 facebook activity, new photos, etc. and pulls that together into a
 timeline. It also has links from someone's Mugshot page to their other
 profiles. But it isn't intended to *replace* any of those things.

I agree that getting all your friends on Mugshot is an issue to address. They don't really have to *use* Mugshot by the way, just create an account and add their facebook account info. But there are perhaps solutions to this, we've discussed for example allowing you to add your friend's facebook account to the stuff you'd see, even if your friend has never used Mugshot. Or even better, we can perhaps use the Facebook API to get your list of friends and do this automatically (not sure they export the functionality).

So those would be great directions to improve things.

So what would actually make this work is server-to-server features - the desktop may only need to talk to mugshot, but mugshot needs to tie aes gnome to my facebook, msn, and jabber accounts.

That's exactly what it is supposed to do, if I understand what you mean. There are lots of additional accounts it could tie to, and also more ways it could tie to the accounts it already ties to, but the basic idea of Mugshot is to tie to all your existing accounts.

See also:

The desktop should talk to stuff other than Mugshot directly also, I think; that will often be easiest. There's no reason everything has to go through Mugshot and in fact that will produce needless server load. We do as I said though need to fill certain gaps and have certain glue, which is where our own open source server is useful.

These social networks *also* have a variety of presence information, friends, social networks, photos, RSS feeds, statuses, and so on depending on the service.

What we can ideally do is pull together the relevant bits. For example, if you're present on any of the things with presence, we can display that. That way whether my friends use AIM or Twitter or whatever for status messages, I can still see their status.

I know that mugshot does more than, say, myspace. But if a user has to get all of his friends using mugshot instead of (eg) myspace,

Absolutely not the intention, we have never felt it was realistic to get people to switch social networks.

It's certainly a problem right now that friends have to create a Mugshot account before you can watch what they're doing online. We should be thinking of good solutions.

The "no switching" criteria is why we support Windows and even work with Internet Explorer, too. All your friends have to be able to use it.

And yeah, we really need a Mac port for the same reason.

Hope I managed to get a point across in that ramble :)

For sure. I think it's a great point and the hope is that a combination of 1) supporting tracking more aspects of what people are doing on other sites and 2) supporting ways to keep up with online activity for non-account-holders and 3) other ideas people have ;-) will improve the situation.

We really need help on the huge list on by the way ;-) (including adding more to it, and adding more detail on what to watch on each service, but also of course on implementation!)

One of the guiding principles of Mugshot is "totally open to work with any other site" - this btw is one thing our open source site does that almost no proprietary site will do ;-) it is willing to work with anything and everything.


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