Drummond Reed and I have just release a whitepaper describing how personal clouds can be linked together in a decentralized relationship network to create a sharing architecture that has tremendous power and extraordinary benefits.
I've been writing for some time about personal clouds, lightweight, cloud-based virtual computers that are controlled by and work on behalf of an individual. Personal clouds work together in a relationship network formed by channels that link cloud-to-cloud. These channels, that we call personal channels, simplify, automate, filter, and protect communications in ways that have never been possible before. Drummond Reed and I have written a white paper describing the extraordinary benefits of personal channels over today's email systems and social networks. The paper describes ten benefits of personal channels.
Personal channels are a multi-channel communications and sharing architecture like social networks, but are decentralized and protocol-based like email. Computer systems often begin as centralized systems because such architectures are easier to build and understand. After a time, they evolve to decentralized systems as the limitations of the centralized solution become apparent.
This matrix shows how architecture (centralized vs decentralized) and channel type (single channel vs. multi-channel) combine to create different systems. The whitepaper discusses the fact that email, a single-channel communications model, moved from a centralized to a decentralized architecture via a protocol (SMTP), creating a much richer communications platform. Similarly, we describe how multi-channel relationship systems will undergo a similar transformation as we determine how best to support protocols that provide rich sharing environments.