I have an additional cause for optimism even beyond the euphoria some of us expressed at BloggerCon, that blogging can revolutionize the world. That’s because I see blogging as an intermediate step toward a richer metadata protocol linking blogs about me to blogs about you and describing in detail how successfully we do business. The aim is to do more business, increasing money velocity, and hence prosperity. But the secret sauce is to create a conversation about quality in our economic life.
Xpertweb equips its users to add transaction data to their private permission-free publishing (blogging) environment. If two such bloggers trade with each other, they can agree to expose their progress to their audiences in real time. At the end of the transaction, they can give each other a 1-99% grade and a written comment. Their metadata archive can then inform others as to their reliability, as rated by trusted bloggers. Just as bloggers despise broken links, so will Xpertweb bloggers disparage erosion of transactional data. However, by mirroring transaction data, the sting of lost Xpertweb metadata is salved.
Prior to BloggerCon, Doc had suggested I post an Xpertweb description, so I wrote Blogging for Business. The suggestion then was that the Xpertweb protocols provide a specialized kind of trackback that’s highly explicit about the universal data types that describe all transactions. In fact, Roland believes that it might be possible to use the trackback mechanism as a way to propagate Xpertweb data.
I describe Xpertweb as if it will be a site you can go to and which has a proprietary hold on the “system.” But that’s just a way of describing the protocols, just as we describe cyberspace as a place when it’s really just an agreement.
Agreeing to Agree
Agreement is a powerful force. Doctor Weinberger and Doc Searls have taught us that the Internet is simply an agreement embedded in our habits, software, firmware and hardware. The Xpertweb protocol is a more abstract agreement dictating how we’ll deal with each other, and to publish the outcomes of our resulting actions. Since it’s about mo’ money, it has the opportunity to be of mo’ than passing interest. Since the protocols reward the agree-ers hugely when they get new people to adopt the agreement, it has a chance to be adopted quickly and enthusiastically. Its purpose is to terraform the global economic desert as dramatically as any Star Trek visionary.
There’s a high-level intro to Xpertweb here, and a more detailed look here. And there’s a depiction of the shamelessly viral money-spreading meme here. Some people will go to any length to invent a buck.