Crème vision, social agents, and a sidenote about Skype

April 26, 2010

I haven’t posted anything here for a while. One reason for that is that I treat my life as a journey. There are twists and turns along the journey, as with any other journey. I can share some of those twists very soon.

Crème’s three goals

One thing that I continue to work on, though, is Crème. I started the project with three goals. One of them was to learn about iPhone OS engineering, which in my view is one of the two winning mobile platforms. (Android is the other one. The rest are blah. If you are working on a mobile platform today that is not iPhone OS or Android, make sure your resume is lined up and ready to go.)

The other goal was to advance the state of the art of Twitter apps. Everybody keeps hyping Tweetie like it’s the holy grail, done, and complete. I don’t think it’s that great. Sure, it’s a good app with some good engineering. I respect that, and have borrowed some of their design ideas. But is that what Twitter should really be like on a mobile device or on your desktop? Is that the end, the culmination? I think we can do better. Crème is not there yet, but we are catching up, and skipping some of the useless material as we go. I have the benefit of being able to learn from others’ mistakes and paths that didn’t take them anywhere. Based on Crème users’ and reviewers’ feedback, we are on the right track. We might not get there soon, or ever, but we continue.

The third idea that I have that is more vague than the above two, but also more intriguing, is the idea of your “social agent.” I didn’t invent this word, I took it from Chris Messina. In fact, here are three posts/videos that sum up the idea.

So, your social agent is something that helps you interact with the various information streams, manages your identity, and helps you curate and share the interesting pieces.

Twitter as a social agent platform

Crème is ways away from being a true social agent, but that does not concern me. It is a personal long-tail research project, meaning that I put a little into it every day, with the expectation that I’ll be spending quite a while on it (months, if not years.) It may or may not work out. But I am happy how it has worked out so far with Twitter as a platform. Here’s why.

The Crème plan

OK, well, this is all fine and good, but it does not tell you what the Crème vision is. Well, here are my plans.

A sidenote about Skype

I keep injecting these random Skype notes here and there because I care about this company. I know many good people there, and also it’s important for Estonian economy and self-image that Skype does well.

Skype has been absent from all these social discussions; in my view, they are thus far a write-off in the identity and social/sharing space. They have been hiring a lot of senior people and presenting at conferences and other events; I was glad to see them on stage at iPhone OS 4 presentation. This has not yet translated to anything that social agent activists would care about.

Skype being a write-off in the “public” social space, though, does not mean to the slightest that it is a write-off to me as a product. Two important data points.