Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Ping when you can Diaspora

As anyone who reads this blog knows, our current focus is developing the Novacut distributed video editor. But this is just the first step in a long-term vision. If our dream comes true and the world is flooded with a zillion new independent TV shows... well, people are going to need a player through which to watch them all.

My close friends and I are voracious TV watchers and we all have quite similar tastes. For almost all the shows I watch, I originally started watching them because they were recommended to me by one of my friends. Only a small percentage I discovered myself, usually through blind trial and error. But whenever I find something really good, I quickly recommend it to the whole crew.

So for us, entertainment is very social, but it's very intimate at the same time. It's not Facebook social, it's Diaspora social.

As Apple recently released iTunes 10 with their Ping social network, and as Diaspora just did their public code drop, it's a perfect time to share the Novacut perspective on what happens when a media-player meets a social-network just after last call (and after a lot of drinks).

Like I said, for my friends and I entertainment is social yet intimate. So we do want social features in our player, but by default we want to share TV suggestions with only those we intend. And so the first thing that comes to my mind is, heck, why not use Diaspora?

I haven't looked over the Diaspora code, so I don't know if its architecture would work for delivering TV recommendations through the Novacut player. But if Diaspora is appropriate, we'll use it. If not, perhaps we can extend Diaspora to make it work, or just roll our own. Bottom line is, we completely agree with Diaspora that you shouldn't have to give up your privacy just to use the Internet socially.

Anyway, congratulations to the Diaspora team on making their public code release. It's a great project and we fully support their goals. I mean, they use the word "distributed" almost as much as we do, so we must be on the same team!

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