There’s an interesting view of the future of digital media consumption I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about codenamed “EPIC”.

The ‘Evolving Personalized Information Construct’.

The basic vision is that at some point there needs to be a new type of media browser or a future evolution of something like Firefox which becomes the system by which our sprawling, chaotic mediascape is filtered, ordered and delivered to us in a totally new, digestible way. It’s not even beyond the realms of possibility that good old reliable uncle Google is already working on it.

EPIC would produce a custom content package for each user, using his or her choices, consumption habits, interests, demographics, social network etc – to shape a personalised view of the web. Essentially hide anything out there that isn’t relevant. Give every user a blank canvas and let them dictate their own Internet. It’s not an impossible dream, I mean Amazon already do it on a microlevel, just take the theory and make it about everything. The semantic web is an emerging dream & the technology is there, it’s more a question of when, what & who.

I’ve had a keen interest in the emerging area of ‘APML’ (Attention Profiling Markup Language) for a while now and although it’s not right, it does show intent. APML is an XML-based format for capturing a person’s interests and dislikes allowing people to share their own personal attention profile in much the same way that OPML allows the exchange of reading lists between news readers. The idea behind APML is to compress all forms of attention data into a portable file format containing a description of the user’s rated interests. Compatible websites can use this portable file to tailor it’s own content to better suit the visitors interests. Makes a lot of sense, it just won’t ever become widely adopted because too much effort is involved to make it a ubiquitous service with end-users and content providers.

EPIC on the other hand sets out a vision that is entirely ubiquitous because it’s the vehicle for browsing that learns and reacts and not some portable user-file.

I love the label EPIC too! It’s bold.

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