Monday, February 11, 2008

Open Social Graph

Cross posted from my digitalmusings blog which I've tried to fold into this blog recently where I blogged this live!

My biggest motivation of Graphing Social Pattern07 conference was this topic of OpenFaced, takes me back to the dreams of web1.0 with XML and microformats and creating an interconnected web built on open standards of different sites.

Dave McClure set the stage and said if Yahoo and Google were serious about the Open Social Graph, they need to participate in such panels. Brad Fitzpatrick co-author of the "Thoughts on Social Graph" has joined Google, setting expectation of Google opening into the Open Social Graph

Live Blogging from the Panel here:

OpenFaced panel: Opening Up the Social Graph
- Tantek Celik (moderator), David Recordon SixApart, Chamath Palihapitiya Facebook, Joseph Smarr Plaxo, Ted Grubb Satisfaction Unlimited

Joseph Smarr Plaxo:
Online Identity Consolidator find the same person's account across twitter, flickr,, pownce and everywhere else on the web , all without compromising the privacy if the user. - lists a bill of rights to build out an openweb.

David Recordon SixApart

Ted Grubb Satisfaction Unlimited allows import profiles from other services which support microformats.
Love the ability to create an address book, where is a friend should get a friends phone if I have his email.
Facebook does not allow data taken out of facebook using Facebook API to be stored for more than 24 hrs.

Chamath Palihapitiya Facebook:
  • Facebook pioneered open technologies like Memcache.
  • The service itself itself is conducive to people trusting facebook.
  • There is one social graph of 6Bil users in the world, we have captured 45Mil of it.
  • Here is one model of it, we acknowlege we need people to help us.
  • Everyone including facebook is at the starting point, we need to measure progress over coming years.
  • Its a delicate balance between being open on the web on one hand and trusted and private on the other side.
  • Should be done methodically and systematically not reactively.
  • Consumer choice leads in the end.
  • We need to provide more and more control to App developers and will open slowly and cautiously.

How about integrating Openid and symantic web?
How long will it take for developers to build to an open web across platforms instead of one facebook platform?
What is each panelist doing to share open social graph:

David: Implement Openid
Facebook : want as much information to flow across the graph and touch everyone in the world.( This is an ambitious and audacious goal, but does not seem to signal real open graph outside of facebook, or unless I missing the point here)

update- my followup thoughts: Facebook has done well in initiating an ecosystem of developers and VCs with the F8 platform.
Facebook is building a competitive advantage with this ecosystem and unless the ecosystem demands with clear competitive returns, it does not make business sense for them to open up.
From my own personal experience hanging around facebook developers and SF Bayarea facebook meetup I find facebook clearly aligned with developers and opening up slowly where it makes sense for the developers and facebook.
Chamath has articulated this eloquently and I believe facebook is here to stay and buildout its competitive lockin.

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