The process of getting images out of your camera and onto Flickr is completely different from the process of getting your videos onto YouTube. How do you decide what to store at MySpace or Friendster and what to store on the personal web space provided by your ISP? For many users, these are difficult decisions and even harder tasks – huge barriers to entry for big chunks of the population. David Kushner for Spectrum: “The mess of the Web, in other words, leaves you trapped in one big tangle of actions, service providers, and applications.”
IEEE Spectrum profiles Firefox creator Blake Ross, and describes his latest project, an open source, web-based, personal and/or shared desktop called Parakey, which aims to provide a unified desktop on the web — one that other people can visit, and one that lets you decide what content to share and what to keep private. Parakey will communicate with your home computer, keeping all the right stuff in sync. One step closer to that holy grail of an entire Web-based OS.
Right now, the Parakey front door is devoid of content or clues. But if Parakey take-up turns out to be anything like Firefox adoption (“People are switching to Firefox at the rate of 7 million per month”) things are going to get interesting.