Every now and again you read something that shifts your thinking a little. This happened to me just now when I read the following from Ray Ozzie, CTO at Microsoft:
As an industry, we have simply not designed our calendaring and directory software and services for this "mesh" model. The websites, services and servers we build seem to all want to be the "owner" and "publisher"; it's really inconsistent with the model that made email so successful, and the loosely-coupled nature of the web. [Ray Ozzie: Really Simple Sharing]This is not new, but something is being said which combines the notion of 'mesh' (what I have been calling 'intrastructure' in less than gripping fashion ;-) and the notion of 'owner' or 'publisher' that takes hold when somebody imagines that their resource is the single focus of a user's attention.
The extension to the library is clear. The broader mesh metaphor is apt: the library - data, services, people - need to 'mesh' with user environments, rather than standing aloof. More specifically, there are places where one wants to 'synchronize' data - whether with the user environment of reading lists, recommendations, and so on - or within library processes, where similar functionality would be good (whether or not SSE is the mechanism).
Incidentally, Ray Ozzie is writing about SSE - Simple Sharing Extensions - a new specificatin which extends RSS to support bidirectional flow.
Just as RSS enables the aggregation of information from a variety of data sources, SSE enables the replication of information across a variety of data sources. Data sources that implement SSE will be able to exchange data with any other data source that also implements SSE. [XML Developer Center: Frequently Asked Questions for Simple Sharing Extensions (SSE)]