In 2001 we worked on ease-of-use so end-users could run servers on their desktops. Most of them didn't even realize they were doing it, they just used software that appeared to "live" in the browser. In fact they were installing and managing a dynamic web server.
Now I'm sure we can do the same thing for server software that runs in the cloud. Last year I wrote a Howto called EC2 for Poets that walked people through the process of setting up an OPML server on EC2. It worked for end-users, people who never in a million years would think of themselves as a server admin.
The idea I'm working on now is that you can set up your own River of News to share with others, without ceding control of your life to a company who may be trying to get you to join a social network. RSS is valuable enough for some people to make it worth the $90 a month that EC2 costs. And once there's an installed base of people doing this, we can start evolving it to places you can only go when everyone is running a net-accessible server.
2. Thursday is April 1, and that's the 13th birthday of this, the longest-running weblog on the Internet. To celebrate I'm going to release all of 2009's text in a single outline. If I have the time, I want to implement some notetaking features as well, so you can bookmark individual paragraphs, and maybe share those with other people who are reading the text. A new level of collaborative filtering perhaps.
3. Finally, my friend Doc Searls is having trouble with wordpress.root in Radio UserLand, and other people are reporting problems with it in the OPML Editor. This old trusty tool apparently is suffering some growth pains (maybe something changed in WordPress). So I want to take a look at this in the next few days and perhaps release an update.