All posts tagged ‘Socialgraph’

File Under: Uncategorized

FriendFeed Lifestreaming Service Now Open to Everyone


FriendFeed, a social network aggregator from a group of former Google employees, has tossed off the beta shackles and opened its door to the public. FriendFeed works something like your Facebook news feed, but instead of being limited to items in Facebook, FriendFeed can grab content from just about anywhere on the web.

The idea behind FriendFeed is to make it easy for you to organize all your “social web” content in one spot — Facebook updates, Digg posts, bookmarks, Flickr photos, music, Twitter posts or Tumblr blogs.

FriendFeed enables users to comment on feed items (keeping the conversation centralized) and you can mark friend’s items as favorites. Any time someone comments or favorites an item it moves back up in the feed, which helps keep the conversation going.

If you’re looking for something to read, FriendFeed offers recommendations — just head to Friend Settings >> Recommended. Naturally there are JavaScript widgets available if you’d like to embed your FriendFeed activity on another page.

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File Under: Web Basics

Video: Data Portability and What it Means for You

Every time we use the phrase “data portability” here on Compiler inevitably some people misunderstand what we mean by it. And those folks are not alone it would seem, which has prompted Michael Pick of Smashcut Media to create the above video explaining what your data is and what it means to make it portable.

First there’s the data — the information you give to a website about yourself, be it a username, e-mail, who your friends are, what you like to read, listen to, watch and more.

Then there’s the portability element, the notion that you shouldn’t have to give this information to every site, the sites should be able to get it from each other or a centralized location.

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File Under: Web Basics

Creating Proprietary Content is Like ‘Writing in Sand’

We’ve written a lot lately about data portability and content ownership and how these debates relate to the open web. The issues are complex and thorny, but there is a simple way to solve them — put all your data in the public domain.

The video above is an interview from Open Media Web with Tantek ???elik, the man behind Microformats and a host of other great ideas, in which he touts the Digg content model as a way of circumventing content ownership issues.

???elik starts off by defining the open web as consisting of two components — access to your data in both directions (reading and writing) and portability. He then goes on to argue that proprietary services, which are more concerned with content ownership, are ultimately, “like writing in sand — you might as well be building sandcastles… the sandcastles get wiped out by the next wave and that’s exactly what will happen to your content.”

Digg, on the other hand, puts all your submissions, your Digg created content, comments etc, under a Creative Commons public domain declaration, which means anyone is free to do anything they want with what you post.

That’s the ultimate in portability — it’s there for anyone to take and share and move and I really like that model because it basically says if you want to play on the open web you have to contribute your snippets — things like comments and tags and stuff — you have to contribute to the open domain.

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File Under: Web Basics

Google and Facebook to Join the Data Portability Debate

dataport.jpgGoogle, Plaxo and Facebook announced yesterday that all three companies will be sending representatives to the DataPortability Workgroup, an organization designed to create a means of easily sharing content between social networks.

Many of the people upset by Facebook’s recent refusal to allow outside applications to scrape address book data, have hailed the announcement as proof that the open social web is inevitable. But despite the optimistic headlines surrounding Google and Facebook’s announcement, so far the move is little more than lip service and there are a variety of complex privacy issues that still need to be sorted out before any data portability scenario will be workable.

Much of the recent uproar about scraping e-mail addresses out of Facebook revolved around that fact that the tool in question moved those addresses to another company (Plaxo in this case, but the particular company is irrelevant) rather than simply a personal address book, which highlights yet another problem with data portability — many of those in favor of data portability are startups gunning for Facebook’s market share.

Not only does that make Facebook reluctant to open up, but it complicates the issue since personal backups are only one small part of the data portability equation. It’s easy to say Facebook needs to open up if you’re talking about scraping out your own data to display it on another site, but the situation becomes much less appealing when you consider that any number of companies might scrape the same data and do who knows what with it.

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File Under: Uncategorized

Facebook Makes us all Look Like Suckers

facebook.jpgAs you may have read elsewhere, Facebook has suspended the account of prominent blogger Robert Scoble because he violated the site’s TOS by running some sort of data harvesting script. Scoble says the script was designed to “move my social graph to other places and that isn’t allowable under Facebook’s terms of service.”

In other words Scoble wanted his data back and got a taste of how Facebook treats your data — it’s their data and you can’t have it.

Facebook has yet to issue any sort of statement, but we suspect its rather clever PR folks will be able to get Scoble his account back and still play the rest of us for suckers (Scoble for his part is following the usual appeal methods and says he won’t resort to taking advantage of his own PR contacts).

Naturally there’s already a Facebook group calling for Scoble’s re-instatement, which is, we suspect, what Facebook was waiting for before making its move. If it’s smart, Facebook will re-instate Scoble’s account and do its usual move of appearing to bow to user pressure since that continues to give users the illusion that they have some control over the site and their data.

But of course much like your privacy is an illusion, your control over Facebook is equally an illusion. Scoble says that when the dust settles he’ll give some more details about the script at which point we suggest you try running it and see where it gets you.

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