New federated social bookmarks service: Freelish.us

Evan Prodromou's picture

People familiar with StatusNet know that we're dedicated to the federated social web. They probably also know that our software allows sharing status updates between social networking sites, using a protocol suite we call OStatus.

What you may not know is that OStatus actually lets people share any kind of social data that can be encoded using the ActivityStreams standard. Photo sharing, video sharing, social music, event invites, checkins: all these things are just packets we can distribute over the OStatus network.

Today, we're launching a new site to highlight this fact. Freelish.us is a social bookmarking service, similar to dozens of other similar services. It lets users store URLs – bookmarks – with tags to make them easy to organize and share. You can subscribe to other users' bookmarks and get a stream of interesting things to read in your inbox.

We've built it on top of StatusNet, on the StatusNet cloud service. It's definitely not perfect – you can still make plain-text status updates, which kind of confuses the stream, and comments aren't attached to the bookmarks directly. And there are lots of places in the navigation that talk about “microblogging” and “notices” and things like that.

But we think it's a pretty good start. You can import a bookmark file from delicious.com into your freelish.us account. You can use the bookmarklet to post new URLs to the service. And you can use the AtomPub API we introduced in StatusNet 0.9.7 to post ActivityStreams-encoded bookmarks to the service.

Most importantly, you can set up your own site. Freelish.us is built using StatusNet 0.9.7 with the Bookmark plugin enabled. The statusnet-freelishus theme works pretty nicely for bookmarks. If you set up your own site, you can follow people on Freelish.us (and other OStatus-enabled services), and they can follow you. That's what “federated” means.

And, yes: ha ha, only serious. This all really works; we think it's pretty cool. We'll enable the bookmarking plugin on all StatusNet cloud service sites “soon”. And when StatusNet 1.0 launches, we'll have a lot more social interaction built into the software – a lot.

Your bug reports are welcome; merge requests more so. We'd especially love to see other bookmarking services support the federated social web. Let us know, and we'll definitely help.

Comments

Very nice

That was exactly what I was waiting for leaving del.icio.us ( especially with TOS change due to the owner change today ). I am looking forward to be able to report lots of bugs to have a kickass software in the future :)

one account?

Would it be possible/practical to have a single StatusNet account that gives status updates as well as sharing bookmarks, but distinguishes them somehow? E.g. alongside the "Favorites" tab would be a "Bookmarks" tab. Perhaps that means reserving a tag (bm or bookmark) to mark a post as a bookmark.

I like having things integrated in a single account. At the same time, it does make things a bit complex - e.g. when you follow someone, do you follow the bookmarks as well as the status updates? Is this set by your default for following, or their default for being followed, or decide each time? (Deciding each time would be annoying.) My feeling is that following statuses and bookmarks by default would usually be a good idea, with the option to unsubscribe from one (or both) at any time.

The same model could be used for music or book updates, of course ("I'm listening to...", or "I'm reading...")

By having this built into the StatusNet platform, bookmarks and music updates could be made a different format (background color, icon, and/or font) even while appearing in the same stream.

You're doing Drupal. Do you

You're doing Drupal. Do you know of anyone working on creating a Drupal install profile to make it super easy to crank out compatible, fully-functioning federated social networking sites? I realize you're running a service but is this something you might get involved with?

I'm not able to save

I'm not able to save anything, or at least it's taking awhile using the bookmarklet to appear.

We have a federated social bookmarking service. That's awesome!

We have a federated social bookmarking service. That's awesome!

Congratulations to you and your team.

Difficult math question coming up ..

// Paul Booker

OMG I love you!

OMG I love you!

OExchangeNet

Nice Idea! Is the bookmarklet-code opensourced anywhere? perhaps I could tweak the OExchange Plugin (https://github.com/pfefferle/OExchangeNet) to support the bookmarklet!

OExchange? Cool!

I hadn't seen that before! I ♥ OExchange.

The Bookmark plugin is part of the default release for 0.9.7. Source code is in the main Gitorious repository:

http://gitorious.org/statusnet/

So, the plugin now also

So, the plugin now also supports the bookmarklet if enabled: https://github.com/pfefferle/OExchangeNet

Oh, haven't seen it before!

Oh, haven't seen it before! Then I will change the plugin to support this instead of redirecting to the http://example.com/?action=newnotice

Lock-in clarification?

Very Nice! Could you please clarify how easy it would be to export or otherwise get your bookmarks out of freelish.us if you wanted to at a later date? The "avoiding lock-in" question...

Great to see progress on the federated social web!
-Paul

You can backup your data in

You can backup your data in Activity Streams format using http://freelish.us/main/backupaccount !

Excellent!

I thought there would be a way, that's excellent!

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