Hydra has spawned some interesting discussion since Emerging Tech; Steve Gillmor highlights a really good quote below:
I fully expect Hydra style note-taking to become the norm at technical conferences amongst Mac owning participants. For a single company sending multiple developers, it allows the participants to much more quickly digest and build upon the conference content in a forum. For individuals or those folks that simply play well with others, it allows the individual to gain knowledge from a group of people that likely have very different backgrounds. [via Clay Shirky]
Now if we can get Apple to open up Rendezvous across the Net.�
There's one problem with what he suggests, though: Rendezvous wasn't designed to function fully over more than a single network. One of the core pieces of Rendezvous, "service discovery", doesn't carry beyond a given machine's local network.
This is probably good, for things like iTunes shares and my powerbook's web server: I really don't want everyone on the 'net digging through my stuff.
On the other hand, I wouldn't mind being able to present those same services to a select few people — and interestingly enough, all those people are in my iChat buddy list.
Thus, I propose extending iChat to become a conduit to specific people, as I approve them; then those specific people receive service "broadcasts", when I start a service (like Hydra). It's like Aimster, only in a highly generic form: any existing Rendezvous service would work over it. Now I can open a chat with a coworker, approve them for service discovery, share the source code via Hydra, turn on my iSight, and we have instant remote collaboration.
As an added benefit, now everyone on my iChat buddy list has the potential to be a music broadcaster. By publicly sharing access to discover a specific service, they can publish radio content to any of their friends — and I think that has far more value than any use of Rendezvous I've ever seen.
Combining videoconferencing with radio distribution, artists can give and receive instant, live feedback on their songs, answer questions, talk about other things they like, whatever. Lines of communication that didn't exist a year ago suddenly become available.