Things are steaming along towards release 0.1, the very earliest and simplest alpha of CommYou. It's still ridiculously feature-light (it has less than a third of what I consider the necessary features), but almost getting real. My remaining steps are "Make The UI Suck Less" and "Break It Enough To Work With IE6". Once those are done, I need to write a proper build system, and then build the actual site. So I'm probably a few weeks from having the thing really up and running.
The question du jour is, what next? In particular: I've been planning, all along, to fully deploy this thing for Facebook before worrying about any other social networks, but I'm having second thoughts about that, especially since most of *my* friends are over here on LJ. I don't think LJ is quite such fertile ground as Facebook in the long run (partly because LJ already has adequate conversational tools, partly because it's simply a lot smaller), but I'm considering porting the thing to LJ simply so more of my friends are likely to try it out and participate in the development process. As quickly as possible, I'd like to be "eating my own dog food" (to use the software industry's standard slightly nasty metaphor) -- I would like to be having the discussions about CommYou's development and evolution *in* CommYou itself, so I want to get a bunch of interested people into it soon.
A quick review of the system itself: CommYou is superficially similar to LJ in some respects, but with a focus on conversation instead of blogging. The top posts aren't going to be quite as privileged as on LJ, and there is going to be a lot more tool support for the ensuing discussions. The biggest single difference, and the one that's visible upfront, is that the system tracks what you've already read and what's new to *you*, so you can more easily keep a whole bunch of conversations active at once. Also, the UI is much more interactive, and designed to make it a bit quicker to skim through what's going on. But there's lots more coming, ranging from tight IM integration to live online chatting to the ability to treat different conversations differently, depending on how important they are to you.
What CommYou is *not* is a social network: instead, it's designed to be a conversation system that works with and across social networks. The long-term game plan is that CommYou will integrate with *all* social networks, insofar as possible. Plenty of people are dealing with tracking who your communities are; I'm trying to make it easier to talk with them.
A LiveJournal adaptation of CommYou necessarily wouldn't be as tight as the one for Facebook -- LJ just doesn't have the hooks -- so it would basically be a separate site that knows about LJ and uses it. I believe you would sign into LJ via CommYou; CommYou would synchronize with LJ and import your friends and communities. You would be able to start and respond to conversations with your friends and in your communities inside of a CommYou webpage. The topics of those conversations could be posted into LJ in the appropriate places, but they would point to CommYou for the discussions themselves. I'd probably also support many of the LJ clones (GreatestJournal, DeadJournal, etc) quickly, simply because it would be easy to do. Within some limits, CommYou would merge your identity (if you wanted) across all social networks it knows about: initially, this probably means that you could share conversations with friends in both LJ and Facebook.
So, given all that, the question is: would you use it?
How interested are you in trying CommYou, from the bits you know about it?
If you answered one of the two top answers above (that is, you might try it out soon), would a port to LJ make a difference to you, or is Facebook integration good enough for now?