I’ve been going over the web interface of online.gnome.org. The short term vision of this is going to just be a basic account management interface. It will mostly be there to help you organize and control the accounts you use. Some of the frequently asked questions about this interface can be answered in these bullets.
- Not for social networking, there is no “friends” or “groups” concept here.
- Mostly a Management interface, the home page is the account page; the account is the home page
- No real public profile, everything is up there for you the user and no one else (see note below)
I say no real public profile, but I did leave in a “this is what is publicly visible” section at the top. The public section is mostly an example of what we could do if we wanted to allow a publicly visible portion of your page. You could imaging being able to drag up any of the available accounts below (the private section) into the public section to craft a basic public identity (think OpenID) page about you while still having a private section just for you. This is just an example, initially everything will likely be private.
We still need to create an interaction model for local applications storing settings to the online desktop, as well as creating new accounts. Already I see noise about using the About Me dialog inside of GNOME, this is a good start but try to run (don’t walk) away from asking the person to enter in lots of form fields.
Here’s my advice for this, don’t just think about creating forms for people to enter the information. We already have it scattered all over the web! Facebook provides an excellent API for accessing your profile data, there’s no reason why we couldn’t ask people if they have a facebook account. Or LinkedIn is supposed to create a nice API for accessing their data as well, this is another opportunity to cache information about the person locally. So sure, the About Me might be a place you could edit the information locally, but more likely people will keep their facebook or linkedin data up to date because there’s an obvious and real reward for that.