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Meaningful Atomic Units

The last post wasn’t particularly brilliant or crisp. I’ve been thinking a lot about platforms, silos, and web-based atomic units–individual, unique objects that can be accessed by their own URLs.

These aren’t new concepts, but the topic is on my mind.

There’s a limit to the usefulness of atomic units after a certain size; while you could break down this page and change it to an aggregated page of individual letters, it would not be particularly interesting or useful.

A blog post is more than just a collection of letters; the words give it meaning, and not so much the individual words, but phrases and sentences.

So perhaps whatever’s quotable is worth turning into it’s own unit with a unique URL, indexable, shareable, portable.

An image is an obvious object; shareable, reference-able with its own url. Collections of images are as well. Collections of images and phrases pass muster.

What these objects give us is remixable content–ah, now I remember what sparked the thoughts, which aren’t particularly unique. Diaspora just released, which seems like a meme engine, but it’s really a way to mix and remix individual objects on the web (or at least at

My initial impression was that it wasn’t very serious for creating meaningful content, which is much more interesting to me than dancing cats with a pithy caption.

More apps will move toward creating meaningful objects and opportunities for creating them.  The tweet, the search result, the comment, the album, the meme, the remixed song, the circle of friends. Mix, remix, rinse, repeat, hopefully in meaningful and valuable ways.

Check it out, let me know what you think.

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