Friday, November 2, 2007

OpenSocial - Google Code

OpenSocial - Google Code

Google's "Maka Maka" project looks like it finally launched. I'm quite excited by this change. Its funny that just a year ago I was talking with friends about how I wished someone would unify the social networking space and I think we're about to see that happen. I guess we'll have to see if we can really make this happen. I love Facebook and I always thought that they would be the ones to open up this space. They're a smart, innovative and daring company with a product I've proudly used for years. I wonder what their plans were before this news.

Though, to be honest, if you asked me what sort of app I would like to see on a social network I wouldn't have an answer for you. What about widgets on web pages? No ideas there either. I'm not really interested in looking at little doohickeys or playing scrabble or throwing sheep at people so why then am I excited? I'm looking forward to the day when I have *one* address book. Thats really it. I want to sort and tag and organize my contacts and I don't want to have to enter the majority of the contact information. With a little tweaking and some interopability I might someday be able to make sure that the contact in my email app has the most up to date email address for my friends. How will that make it up to date? Because their profile is controlled by them and when they change their email address they can update the profile and nobody will have to send a "changed my email" message, similiarly for phone, address, IM, etc. I think this is made more possible by Google's next move into this field, an open social graph but enabling people to get data is the first step in letting them control where it goes.

This makes you wonder. Why didn't XMPP take off? I'm still sour about the state of instant communications. Microsoft and Yahoo, Google and Jabber, IRC. Why are these things so hard to traverse. There isn't even a market in making money here - It not any different than email but with email I can talk to anyone no matter what domain they're on.

There are rumors that Facebook was ignored in the creation of the open social alliance. I don't think that was the case but if it was I'd be deeply disappointed in my company. I think its possible that this could have happened but I find it unlikely. More likely was that so and so talked to so and so but that never go to whos-its-face and thus the proclaimation. It seems people look at this as if it were only a strategy move, something to move into an upcoming industry but Google is an Engineer driven company. My bet is that someone here got fed up with the state of the social networking world, talked to enough people and then had a project to work on.