Fargo and the Social Ecosystem

I just checked out Hi, the new publishing platform by Craig Mod, in which a user writes a short snippet about a photo. All posts are geotagged, and a user can "extend" their narrative about the moment depicted in the photograph if she wishes. Someone can browse by location, for example: "moments in New York". I can see how a community can build pretty quickly around this platform: it's visual and it's geographic.

I wonder if Fargo gets little attention from the tech press because it's low on the "bells and whistles" quotient. Also, its sociability is nonobvious.

  • There is the Fargo Community River, a stream of RSS feeds of blogs published from Fargo. You can check out the outline from which any of these blogs is published by using the "Open by name..." menu item in Fargo. (For example, to see Dave Winer's outline for his dave.smallpict.com blog, just enter "dave" into the "Open by name..." field.) The social aspect of this is the ability to peek into someone else's Content Management System. Also, I can see when a named outline has changed (I'll see a icon next to it.)

  • Also, I know that I can open any public OPML file in Fargo (using the "Open by URL..." menu item). Here is an OPML file I found, Dave Winer's workspace for the World Outline. It was not created in Fargo, but I can still read it in Fargo.

  • Essentially, I can view other people's outlines. Although I have no experience with Dave's early World Outline project, I assume this is what he's getting at.

However, it's hard to get "viral" in this manner. You have to be pretty geeky (as I am) to think, "Oh I wonder how Eric did that on his Fargo blog, let me check out his named outline to find out!"

Ideally, lots of people would make content available in OPML. If someone were to, say, host a giant OPML file with a database of recipes, you could just "subscribe" to that in Fargo. If the author updates the file, you'll see the updates in Fargo. You don't have to go elsewhere to read recipes (just like with an RSS reader you don't need to go elsewhere to read many blogs).

  • How would the creator of "World Recipes" even publicize this OPML file? There needs to be a central repository where OPML people can post their public outlines. Not everything is going to be a smallpict.com blog.

I'm going to take a first step.

  • If you have a public outline that you want to share with the world, email me the URL for the OPML file and I'll publish it. Just include a description of what it's about. (Don't send the OPML file for smallpict blogs, though, as they're already being promoted in the river. Also, I'm not interested in OPML files of RSS feeds, e.g., your export from Google Reader.)

  • The directory lives in three places:

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:05 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM.