I saw this GoogleTech Talk presentation on Wuala, a p2p based filesystem and that got me thinking. Wuala knows how to do the sharing, encryption and it manages the network, whereas Nautilus, Soylent knows about my files and my friends. They could be best friends, not only that with gnome-keyring and the pam stuff I could be auto logged in to Wuala along with my user session. One cool thing about this kind of integration would be that sharing a picture with a friend while chatting could be made simple not to mention fast (anyone who has tried sending a file over msn via pidgen will know how painful this can be performance wise).
I wonder if the same technic could be used to solved a cute problem, Jeff Spatela wants to blog his newest cool video to prove that he knows where you live. Given that Wuala has a public area, how hard would it really be to add a bit of loving to his post by say him dragging and dropping the file to his blogging client to have a link that could open the video in my local totem (or embed it.. who cares) and thus let me help distribute it transparently at the same time. Bye bye YouTube or in his case if the videos get really popular one could imagine it causing a nice slashdotting of the Fedora site he normally uses to host it, a risk that would also neatly go away by switching to something like this.
This is interesting to me mainly because the entry level skill to participate in p2p networks right now is pretty easy for the download part but e.g. sharing your own files this way for a nice speedy decentralized public share is damn hard. Take Bittorrent e.g. you need to go through the process of generating a .torrent file, upload the result,. you have to know the url to a tracker.. compared to just uploading a picture on imageshack or flickr that’s just way to complicated (it’s probably way to complicated period), this means we depend on a gatekeeper (in this case imageshack) who can cut off the file if they find it offensive, if it uses to much bandwidth e.g. With a system like this that problem would go away, since the more popular a file is the faster it would be to get it, what’s lacking is really to make it even easier than using the centralised services and integrating it with the existing desktop. This is were we have we a huge chance, given the openess of Linux we can integrate this faster than anyone else and we can provide an unparalleled user experience because we can hook into components other vendors cannot. Finally I think openness gives a lot of freedom to out imagine competitors, just look at the explosion of extensions hooking various services which are available for open platforms like Firefox, Avant Window Navigator, GNOME do, etc.