Kottke recently went on a tirade about Web 3.0 or the WebOS. A kind of blurring of the line between desk application and web content. Currently there are a lot of desktop applications that leverage the web and, in a simplistic explanation, WebOS is seems to be the opposite. An application that can be managed locally on your computer (online or not) but can be accessed world wide. Kottke points out a number of web 2.0 applications like Flickr and Gmail that only need some additional feature to reach WebOS status. Mainly Gmail needs to cache mail locally for when you are offline and Flickr needs to let you store your photo collection offline seamlessly with the online version. Kottke put a large emphasis on being off line and I don’t quit grasp why but I do see how storing and managing files on your computer is much more powerfully then having to manually upload them.
Is Slide web 3.0? Well probably not but it’s ridiculously close as far as I am concerned. A large part of Web 3.0 is turning the individual in to the provider. Instead of loading your pictures to the Flickr server you host the pictures on your computer just like a mini web server. That is how Slide works. Slide takes content on your computer and broadcasts it to any one who also have Slide and subscribes to you. Slide turns you in to the provider. As you ad pictures, music, or videos to the folder on your computer your subscribers are notified. The notification is done by visibly scrolling the content across your screen when Slide is running. Not only is this a great way on instant updates it does not require a place to upload the files. Slide does not need to worry about people uploading massive files that will choke their servers.
While I’m in love with the idea I think Slide misses the base on a couple of things. The first is what keeps it from truly being web 3.0. You need to have the program to get any updates to the people you are subscribe too. This keeps the service from being accessible world wide. As smooth and pretty as the interface is it would have been nice to access updates online.
Slide allows people to include all sorts of media files like pictures, movie and music. They even made a mention of del.icio.us links streaming though I have not figured out how to do that one. How they can let people stream their entire music collection to the world is beyond me but more power to them.
As more of a general annoyance Slide does not allow sub folder to be included in the stream. This kept me clicking through the interface for what seemed like forever to include all my sub folders. Easy fixed but it still drove me insane.
The Beta goes live tomorrow, thanks to Johnnie Manzari for the early invite, and hopefully it will take off. Either way Slide is a view of the future in personal hosting and publication. No longer will you have to run Apache to serve document online. From now on they will come with a built in server.