IaM hyPE

Stephen D. Williams sdw@lig.net
Tue, 15 Jan 2002 12:36:14 -0500 (EST)

> Tom wrote:
>> Buddy lists are way older than AOLS propreitary crap. More histroy
>> less corporate hype please.

A list would be nice.  Various fragments of the function occur in many
places.  I really wish that IRC or Zephyr had evolved.

I have no reason to hype AOL other than having created a few things there: I
never have owned a share or option (yea, my bad).

> RWHO, anyone?  Hey, who coined that term "presence," anyway?  Anyone?
> Anyone?  Bueller?

RWHO does perform a basic presence broadcast, but it has no pub/sub and
'who' itself is a polling function.  It also doesn't match presence to
routing of messages.  Obviously also limited to broadcast spanning networks
or manual tunnelling.

> But that can't be right.  As Clay Cipione (once high-muck at AOL) was
> once heard to say "we invented buddy lists and we are entitled to a
> 100% market share!"

IMHO: Clay Cipione is a jerk.  Inneffective, fosters cultural poison, a real
downer at AOL.  He mostly ruined the great culture that AOL had the first
two years I consulted there.  He started at AOL mid to late 1996.  I worked
very indirectly for him at Lexis-Nexis for 2 of my 3 years there where I
believe he was a strong negative influence.  I tried to warn AOL about him,
but they were already committed when I found out they were hiring him.

That being said, the only anti-trust issues with AIM/BuddyList were
indirect: it's reasonable to make the requests they did as part of the
AOL/TW merger, although they should have been stronger.  It's nothing like
the MS monopoly situation, although it could become similar eventually.

If someone were to pay for the server bandwidth, which isn't really that
much pre-multimedia, it would be possible to compete in the IM/Presence
space.  In fact, I think that the multimedia capability could be charged for
profitably.  Maybe the whole project could be started as a cooperative
non-profit public entity.  I can see how it could reach equilibrium after
critical mass, but as always getting there is tough.

As far as invention, what AOL did was put the right elements together to
create a critical mass for this killer app.  The elements of BuddyList
existed.  BuddyList/IM as a whole suitable for a bulk market did not exist.

> jb

sdw@lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams
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