Kakuteru.com, Shake that Cocktail!

Hey everyone, it’s time for a little Kakuteru update. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve started building Kakuteru. Since then a lot has happened!

Last month, I’ve relocated back to Amsterdam to pursue one of my long-term goals: ‘the startup’. Together with Peter Tegelaar, I’ve rented a nice apartment in the centre of Amsterdam. Here we will work on our stealth project, Reccoon. And for the time being, I will remain a Technical Advisor for iKnow! – the global learning platform (and remain highly involved).

Please note that Kakuteru is not my full-time engagement, however, I think there is a lot of potential for issekinichou – killing two birds with one stone. On some of my other projects, there are huge overlaps in terms of technical problem solving. I would like to do a write-up about issekinichou sometime soon, as I think it’s a very important strategic meme that helps deal with the ever increasing complexity of the world.

Okay, let’s get back to Kakuteru. First of all, I’m very satisfied with the enormous amount of excitement and buzz Kakuteru has generated in the web-tech crowd. Also, I’ve got an overwhelming amount of invite requests and I just send out a batch of 400 invites (through Twitter and E-mail). But of course, Kakuteru is young and there is still a lot to be done. Let me outline some of the upcoming/desired changes.

More Aggregation!

Right now, Kakuteru’s backend lies solely on FriendFeed. You cannot use Kakuteru unless you have a FriendFeed account. I want to change this. It’s not that I dislike FriendFeed, au contraire, I think their service kicks ass. For Kakuteru I’m missing something very important though: massive amounts of meta-data.

Luckily, I have to solve some of these aggregation problems for my personalization-focussed startup Reccoon. For Reccoon we’ve been toying with several ideas (as a business) and right now we’re investigating something that requires us to create a massive aggregation framework. I intend to plug Kakuteru into this framework so that more (semantic) data is available around activity objects and streamers.

Also, I’m looking very forward to the work of the DiSo project and intend to fully support and adopt standards like the Atom Activity Extensions. There is a lot of cool innovation possible on the activity stream front.

_Note: To my astonishment I’ve been blogging about some Activity-platform ideas before: Startup Opportunity: the Activity Platform

More Customization!

Right now the default Kakuteru theme lacks charisma. So far you’re able to edit your CSS and add additional Javascript, also you can add your own domain, but I want to stimulate more radical creativity around lifestreams. This week I’ve added the ability to control the big layout blocks in Kakuteru, so it should be easy to re-arrange things and add extra content. Soon, I will also add the ability to customize individual activity-updates (e.g. photo, video, tweet).

Now, to add some kick-ass default themes, I have another trick in mind ;] (more about that soon!)

An Open Venture

As you might know, Kakuteru’s source is fully available on Github. But I’d like to go beyond open source and make Kakuteru an Open Venture. I’m not sure how to accomplish this, but I’m willing to give ownership away if I think it makes strategic sense. So if you think you’re up to the challenge and help me make this a kick-ass side-venture, contact me!

Improvement suggestions? kakuteru.uservoice.com