As of January 19th, 2023, here’s what my Firehose product does:
- It takes some RSS feeds
- It combines them into one
- And that provides a single place for everything I’m doing
And here’s why it does it:
- It’s silly that many websites are just links to other sites
- There should be a single place to share your content
There are some deeper insights here that are worth calling out:
- People shouldn’t be expected to write their own software
- But they should have more ownership of their stuff
- It should be possible to have your cake and eat it too: use the services for the functionality they provide, but still have ownership
To that end, I have some ideas about what Firehose should do next.
Store everything in a database
Every time I post something on a site like Medium or Mastodon, it’s being pulled into Firehose and shown as a website and RSS feed. That’s fine, but I need to take those new items and stash them away into my own database.
Sites stop working and companies go out of business. It’s comforting knowing that no matter what happens, Firehose is storing copies of everything itself.
Once you have a Firehose database storing everything, it sure would be nice to be able to search for stuff! Not just filtering (which is also great), but a true search engine of all your content.
Following people online presents a problem that I’m not sure anyone has solved: you follow someone for topic X, but they keep talking about topic Y. If you don’t care about topic Y, it’s annoying. If you are actively trying to avoid topic Y, it can be a deal-breaker.
The Firehose makes this problem worse, but is also uniquely suited to solve it. You should be able to filter out anything on the Firehose, whether it’s a single RSS feed, a word, or a category.
But wait! If you can say “I don’t want to see topic Y or RSS feed Z,” the next step is clear: you should be able to save that custom URL. And you should be able to track or share that custom URL with others. Nice!
I think I can connect this stuff to ActivityPub somehow, that’d be cool if I could figure it out.
I literally believe someone could make a company out of this. And even make some money. But in the meantime, I just want to get in a groove and write some code. Onward!