I remember when Gordon Bell, an esteemed researcher at MS Research came to visit our office in Beijing. He gave a great talk on some of the various things he was working on ... especially MyLifeBits. Being able to record all your experiences into a Life Tivo is an interesting concept. However, as I spoke with Mr. Bell, it was clear that his main focus is on archiving and indexing of this information rather than the social community and shared experiences of collective groups. He acknowledges that there are various other ways to record information other than carrying all this equipment around but that getting a way to centralized your experiences as recorded or documented by other people is a whole different can of worms as problems entirely. A great mind and a thought provoking speaker.

 His most interesting point was that years before that he recommended that MS purchase a desktop search company or startup to the then nascent management of MSN. At the time the portal model was the the obvious goal and that the reply he says that he got back from an unnamed senior manager was " Search, who needs search?"

 Fast Company did a great profile of Gordon and his research here.

 

-Frank Yu