New federated social bookmarks service: Freelish.us
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.