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Martin Geddes on Directories

Martin has been blue-skying about directories.  He’d like to see:

  • Opt-in, and editable.  Got a new photo, updated address information, or a new phone number? Just go edit it.
  • Opaque telephony. Anonymous out-bound calls, if that’s what you want, on-demand. Isn’t this otherwise known as caller-id block?
  • A telemarketer line.  Want to call me?  It will cost you £2.00 / minute.  Make sure what you’re offering is of interest.

To which I would add:

  • Hide and seek.  Make sure the call reaching me is actually relevant to what I am doing. Find me if it is.
  • Presence.  The directory server should also be a presence server.
  • All the usual stuff about interests, roles, blogs etc that you find in modern IM profiles. 

And all of the above should be applicable to any form of real time communications.  Telemarketers don’t reach me on IM, yet, but there are plenty of occasions when I want finer grained control over presence than is currently offered.

The communications world is evolving from a network-centric world to a me-centric world. In the me-centric world:

  • You reach me, not my device(s).  Phone numbers (10 digit network addresses) are an anachronism.  Just as you wouldn’t try to reach this blog by typing in its IP address, no longer will you try to reach me by knowing which of the E-164 addresses I can be found at.  The network will know.
  • I am in control.  Sophisticated tools well beyond what is envisioned by today’s primitive presence technologies enable me to project whatever persona I wish to whomever is trying to reach me.  Software bots help me filter, rank, and prioritize communications.  Nuisance callers are a thing of the past.

It’s not so far fetched as it seems.  We’re nearly there today, and within five years this technology will be mainstream.

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