Red Had sponsored subscribe-my-brain solution called mugshot

Today I received a mail of a #B4mad.Net allied urandom. He send me an invitation to mugshot which pretty fast reveiled as a web based subscribte-to-my-brain service sponsored by Red Hat.

Subscribe to my brain was brought up by Leigh Dodds in June 2005. His goal was to consolidate different (subscribable) source of information a user published. The key he used to join this sources was the user’ mailbox IRI sha1 checksum. So he sent on and did it the semantic web way and provided a webservice to fulfill the task and provide a OPML file that may be imported directly into a aggregator.

Red Hat”s solution is to provide a single web pages to replace the aggregator and no webservice but user configurable source to aggregate from. This is nice, from a web design point of view. But it is basically redundant. For a semantic web guy, most of the information mugshot requests (by forcing me to fill in my user profile) is available on the web and maintained anyways:

  • Accounts at flickr, del.icio.us et al – I have this written down in a RDF/XML FOAF file, as may others do on the web. Advantage: that foaf file is gnupg signed by me, it is verifiable if that account do really belong to me. Any user may open up a account at mugshot or flickr and predent his is me. The only authorative source for that information is my FOAF file.
  • Personal Information – like my blog url, my picture and the user name and passowrd I”d like to use is requested by mugshot. Again, most of this information is stored in my FOAF files. Username and authentication may be provided by OpenID and friends.

Next interessting architectural decission of mugshot was to poll data by retrieving it from the sources I manually configured in my user profile. Feels like stone age now we have Ping the Semantic Web.com (PTSW). mugshot aggregates feed, so doing it the right way™ would be to monitor PTSW for updates of this feeds. If they are not pinging PTSW make them ping, that would help a bigger community than just the mughot guys and girls.

And finaly, it’s just a me too project, I did it in 2006: [haha :)][9] There is no need to let others consolidate a single page about myself.

PS: and why the hack is my email address spammer readable on mugshot??

[9]: http://b4mad.net/erdGeschoss/