Introducing: Place Name Where?

A week or two ago I posted some comments about working with CakePHP for an upcoming project. Well, I’m happy to announce that that project—Place Name Where?—is up.

Place Name Where? is a personal information aggregator that tries to reverse the trend of decentralized content contributions that seems to be one of the core features of “Web 2.0” sites.

Web 2.0 is great, but at a certain point one can feel too distributed. You’ve got news stories here, pictures of your pet dust bunnies over there, and in the cellar you keep your favorite wines. Each service is kind enough to provide ways to include the content you added to their site back into your own site, but typically this is limited to a presentation that doesn’t go further then “hey, look at the last 10 things I did on this other site”.

The site works by regularly grabbing several feeds associated with my accounts on the selected services and then permanently storing a copy of the data on my end. Once I’m free of the restrictions of RSS feeds, APIs or JavaScript embedding techniques I can build much more elaborate views on the data like displaying recent activity across all services or looking up all things tagged with nhl regardless of the type of thing it is. I dubbed it a “Web of Web Things” after the discussions of similar tagging and aggregation of real world Web, or Internet of Things (call them spimes, blogjects, or whatever you’d like) by Bruce Sterling, Adam Greenfield, and others.

This aggregator isn’t intended to be a stand alone site forever—though it does work fairly well as such. I need to find some time to spend working on design and integration issues, but I hope it won’t be too long until the ideas behind Place Name Where? are integrated into this site and appear both in place of the current “link” lists as well as integrated into tag lookups and maybe search results.