Details Revealed: Google OpenSocial To Launch Thursday

Michael Arrington, TechCrunch, Oct 31, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Here's the Slashdot discussion. Due to launch tomorrow, Google's OpenSocial will be "a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks (called 'hosts') that choose to participate." This will allow users to manage user information, their social graph, and activity information, which will be available on multiple sites. One of the nice things is that "developers use normal javascript and html (and can embed Flash elements)." This is being depicted in some quarters as an alliance against Facebook and Microsoft. But Mark Andreesen (Ning, one of the partners) depicts it as the next step in a process initiated by Facebook. "A big part of what's happening today is market expansion, and Open Social will definitely help fuel market expansion, which is in everyone's interest, including Facebook's." Alec Couros writes, "When proprietary standards are threatened, I am a very happy guy." And as Harold Jarche asks, "can OpenSocial become OpenLearning?" Related: FOAF Sites: "These FOAF Sites are open social networking sites which host a large amount of 'Friend of a Friend' FOAF data. they generate it automatically for all users. If you know of sites not on the list, please add them."
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