As of today, FindMeOn and RoadSound are both patent pending.
I’m completely ecstatic to announce this –- I’ve been working with my lawyers for several months on this task, and its just great to finally say the papers are filed.
The key functionality to RoadSound has been patented as it was first disclosed in February 2006. It’s a rather complicated patent – 68 pages in all – but the essence of it is a large content management system that is used to manage data about entities, validate it as possible, and syndicate it outwards. The RoadSound implementation uses this to correlate artist , label and venue schedules with one another , and intelligently build up profiles with alleged data — confirming it when possible to the scope of the originating entity. Through the use of filters and isolation levels this information turns into reports that exist as RoadSound content, or as syndicated content on other websites. The end result is that an artist and record label can share the same content across all their websites, while respecting industry norms like a label legal department needing to clear something before it appears on their website. The cliff notes version is this: a booking agent can list a show for one of their acts and it appears on their website, all of the acts websites, all the relevant label websites, and the venue website. Or, “Its hott”.
RoadSound was built as a proof-of-concept for this style of information management, and while the market isn’t 100% ready for this yet, I’m confident that this system will be integral to the future of the internet media outlets proliferate. Solutions one-tenth as robust have received millions of dollars in funding — including some that I strongly believe were modeled directly after the RoadSound demo — so I’m confident that the system will begin to prove its utility in the coming months.
In terms of FindMeOn, a lot of intellectual property is being protected — and a lot isn’t.
Right on the outset, I’ll state what is not being covered by current patent applications:
- The findmeon spec is now, and always will be, free and open.
- We are not protecting anything about listing all of your profile identities on a single page, list your RSS feeds etc. Everyone is doing this now, and I don’t know who thought of it first , I don’t care. We’re not looking do to this style of aggregation at all — I see little difference between it and existing social networking sites. If you want that sort of functionality, the best implementation I’ve seen of it ever has been Claim ID, and I strongly suggest looking there. There are a ton of new sites every day that kind of do that, and toss on bells and whistles , but its all the same and Claim ID shows the most utility by far.
We are seeking protections for ( this is generalized , and because there’s so much activity in this field right now I don’t want to get into the exact claims until they’re made public by the USPTO ):
- How we isolate accounts and identities from one another with privacy
- How we syndicate identities and links to other networks via clickable badges ( the webring-ish feature of our badges )
- How we handle profile management , permissions, and syndication
- How we handle cross-network friendships
- a bunch of other stuff that isn’t public yet
As a side note:
I’ve had pretty good relations with every other identity 2.0 person that I’ve come in contact with over the past year. I’ve even been so bold to publicly state many times that people should use certain other identity projects because the other prodcut is more in line with what that consumer wants (in fact, I just did it again above). This past week, one of the other identity project owners blogged that I trolled boards and pimped out FindMeOn in comments whenever he got spotlighted.
I don’t know what to say to that. First off, I barely ever read web 2.0 sites or boards – I’m too busy with work and business meetings. I wish I had the time. I only hear about other identity projects when I get a google alert about a mention of ‘FindMeOn’ or someone tosses me an IM that reads “this site reviewed some social network aggregator, and said ‘it would be awesome if they had this feature’ — doesn’t FindMeOn do that ?” And that’s when I comment.
So if it makes me a ‘troll’ for commenting on a blog that mentions my product, or commenting on a posting that mentions a need for a service that my product already provides, then I guess I’m a troll. But I’ve never gone out and shilled for FindMeOn. I don’t jump out of nowhere and say “Hey! Look at me!” on every identity blog. I also don’t go out and address other projects by name unless its positive – I only talk about the aggregate of aggregation sites.