As a sneak peek at BarcampBuffalo, UB undergrad and web developer Joseph Hsu of josephhsu.com demos his prototype Live Stream Monitoring webapp written with Ruby on Rails. Yes, he says it’s an untitled work.
It’s very alpha right now, merely aggregating information streams (kinda like RSSfeed.me). His next phase would be to process these streams in order to abstract our personal social web behavior / trends. Ultimately, it’s to become a form of social intelligence dashboard.
As you can tell by now, there’s a small visualization trend going at this Barcamp. Kicking things off was @MikeCanz’s Codeswarm demo as shown above (it’s open source). Since the crowd consisted of business folks as well, much of the conversations highlighted concerns about these tools being more frivolous than functional. Often heard was “what’s the point of this?”.
I argue that if we frame ideas in terms of monetization, we’d be extremely short-sighted. By the time an idea becomes obviously millable, it would be way too late. Instead, I believe that visualization tools provide a crucial way for to us humanly graze from the increasingly denser information environment we live in today.
Historically speaking, lots of popular web services we use today came by accident, including blogger, twitter, Youtube, flickr, just to name a few! Just look up their origins on Wikipedia.