The sheer power of social computing had me wondering how I could best capture some of these new technologies in my everyday life. What occurred to me was that I spend a lot of time sharing: links, stories, photos, videos, etc. Sure, there are lots of tools for sharing these days. Sites like Digg and the sharing feature in Google Reader are just two examples.
But those tools rely on my friends/colleagues to use those same tools, go to those sites, or interface with them in some other new way. No, what I'd really like is a sharing interface that spans multiple media and methods. My idea for that is...the Buddy Bar:
Basically, the Buddy Bar combines (some of) the functionality of an IM client, an email client, a photo/document-uploader app, and blog interface. Here's how I envision it working:
1) You add some friends to your Buddy Bar. You include their name and all contact info you have for them: phone number(s), email address(es), IM/Twitter IDs, and so forth.
2) Simply clicking on a friend opens up an IM dialog. Buddy Bar would be service agnostic, so it would use whatever IM service your friend used.
3) Drag and drop a URL onto your friend's avatar would send it to your friend via one of the predetermined methods you set up for him/her (e.g., email, IM, etc.).
4) Dragging and dropping a file would generate a pull-down menu for you to send that file via one of the various methods you set up for that friend. For example, drop a JPG and the menu might include
*Webify could be to upload it to a web space under your control and send your friend a URL to that location.
Drop a Word file and you might get a different set of options:
5) Select some text from a webpage or document and drag that over to your friend's avatar and you'd get a similar drop-down for methods of delivery.
6) Drop something big on their avatar (e.g., a 200MB home movie file) and it could initiate a Torrent invitation to your friend.
7) Right-click a friend and you get options for audio/video chat, invite to room, ping, and other options.
You get the idea. Basically, it would be an automator for distributing content and managing communication with those in your private social network. I think it could also be very handy for people who work in a distributed environment and constantly need to share info (extra functionality could be built in if it was being used in an intranet setting).
One thing Bob mentioned is the chance for abuse. "Stop sending me this crap!" was his actual comment, IIRC. So, you'd have to have some sort of content/contact moderation much like you have in good IM clients, but with better discrimination based on the type of content being offered.
Anyway, I'd love to see something like this developed. Anyone know of an app/service that accomplishes even most of this?