Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twitter as personal assistant?

Just caught up with this post on GigaOm reporting on speculation that Twitter might be pulling together the capabilities to function as personal digital assistant. Some quotes:

If there’s one thing people love to speculate about, it’s what a future business model might look like for Twitter, the belle of the Web 2.0 ball. Founder and CEO Ev Williams has said the company will come out with more details in the new year, which has only increased the frenzy of speculation. That frenzy got another boost on Monday, when Twitter announced that it had acquired Values of n, a company founded by well-known programmer Rael Dornfest, the former chief technology officer at O’Reilly Media and one of the developers responsible for creating the RSS standard.

In separate blog posts, both Dornfest and Williams said that Values of n would be shutting down the two services it offers — a smart sticky-note application called Stikkit and a personal assistant application called I Want Sandy. However, both also hinted fairly broadly that aspects of these services might find their way into Twitter.
Made me think of this post from almost a year ago when I was letting my imagination run a bit about what the Touch might become: Think robotic assistant or butler. With the ability to understand your spoken commands. With the ability to speak back to you (and play a music track underneath....maybe something from a French film..yeah, I like that).

Imagine. Your personal man- (or woman-) servant. Able to speak to you about what's happening here and now because, thanks to mapping, it knows precisely where you are and what you're heading toward. It automatically retrieves and filters and organizes your messaging. What if it could set up your day for you? Arrange your appointments? What if it knew how to set and stagger appointments by priority? Filter messages by pre-set values? What if it could pull down all the information online about your entire universe of contacts, fed by a rich personal info database like FaceBook? And update you about what's going on in others' lives that truly matters to and impacts you? And maybe pull down a playlist from Fred sharing new music for the day? Would yours be a man or a woman? Young or old? Sultry or strict?
Very cool to sense what's coming, especially as it benefits community/connectivity/collaboration. Just when we need it most.

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