All posts tagged ‘opensocial’

File Under: Software & Tools

Where is the OpenSocial Revolution?

OpenSocialYahoo points out that OpenSocial is a year old. The collection of APIs is a write-once approach to bringing the Facebook platform to any social website. Developers have not clamoured to develop OpenSocial apps. What’s the deal?

While Google was the instigator of OpenSocial, it found many supporters in fellow Facebook competitors: MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, Hi5, and more.

According to OpenSocial’s site, there are many who have rolled out developer implementations. Still, real life examples a year later seem to be minimal, especially in comparison to the land grab that came with Facebook’s platform launch.

There are a few examples trickling out. LinkedIn announced its platform, but is not making it open to all. Yahoo itself released its “open strategy” platform recently, which contains a piece for OpenSocial.

The revolution, it appears, is slow-moving. In the long term, I think open wins. But for now, it’s hard to beat the momentum and focus of Facebook.

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File Under: Software & Tools

Facebook Continues to Sail Its Own Little Web

Facebook cruise lines

Facebook took another step toward creating its own version of the web yesterday. The social platform announced integration with Live Search. Now, in addition to searching Facebook, users can search the web. The results are displayed right within the Facebook chrome, giving a seamless user experience.

Unfortunately, in the name of everything looking like Facebook, the company would like to actually make everything Facebook. When it launched its innovative platform perfectly good website ideas instead became Facebook applications–they were joining Facebook’s own little web.

It’s like Facebook is a cruise ship. There’s a facsimile of everything you’re used to getting elsewhere. It is easy to enjoy the many Facebook-approved activities. But the Facebook ship never docks at any ports of call. You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.

Some might say Facebook attempted to interact with the web as a whole with Beacon. The service brings non-Facebook actions, such as making a purchase at Amazon, into the Facebook world. There were privacy issues there.

One of my problems with Facebook’s approach is that its uni-directional. The regular web is being pulled to Facebook, rather than Facebook giving to the web.

In that sense, it’s possible that Facebook is trying to give some love to the web by incorporating search results. Maybe. The same way there is an older generation who thinks Yahoo is the internet, Facebook is more likely continuing its case to the younger generation that it is the internet.

I want the real internet to be the internet. I want it open and interconnected and owned by everyone. I don’t want “internet lite“.

A cruise may be nice for a week, but when it just keeps going it may be time to ask Captain Zuckerberg for some shore leave.

[Original ship image by Bruce Tuten]

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File Under: Other

Hey, Remember Friendster?

FriendsterIf you’ve been around the web for a few years, chances are good that you have an old Friendster account. I receive birthday emails and spam friend requests about once a week. (Yes, I could change that in the notification settings, or even cancel my account).

I’ve often wondered what could be keeping the Friendster servers up. The answer: the world’s largest continent. Asia, especially the Philippines, has been good to Friendster, who is by far the largest social network in Asia.

Something new must be brewing, because the company just raised $20 million according to the New York Times, and has a new CEO who formerly ran the South Asia region at Google.

You may be thinking that Friendster is stuck back in 2004 with your profile. That’s not so. The site has a developer platform with 450 applications, and has joined OpenSocial. No, Friendster doesn’t look as good as Facebook, and the apps feel even spammier, if you can imagine. But at least Friendster hasn’t just been treading water.

The last line of the NYT blog post might have more to say about why Friendster has secured some more funding. The company was granted a patent in 2006 for its work with organizing people’s relationships. Apparently there are more patents on the way for the one-time innovator. Now that there are other similar services, some like Facebook and MySpace with big money behind them, Friendster might be seeing dollar signs.

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