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February 26, 2009

Webstock 09 : Open, Social Web

The following is a live blogging post of the Open, Social Web presentation at Webstock 09 by David Recordon of Six Apart.

David starts by saying that Friendster, MySpace and Facebook are like 3 different castles surrounded by moats. Ning turned that on it’s head.

This needs to be how all these social networks interact with each other. Not WHICH social network will be the most popular but HOW they will interact to make lives easier.

Social Applications

– Each has a few great features (the UNIX philosophy)
– Creating combined value
– Building blocks for new value
– Not a social graph of their own

Learn how to use social applications together. A few years ago it was easy to be Best of Breed because all you had to do was MORE than ask users for their password. Now things are different.

David asks the audience, what does it mean to blog now? How do we use a blog with social networking? How do we use multimedia to expand blogging? The DiSo Project enables you to use Open Source to build interactivity on top of platforms such as WordPress. It finds gaps for new applications and connectivity between social networking sites.

David has also seen an evolution to creations using platforms. E.g. Pinax. It’s an open-source collection of re-usable apps for the Django Web Framework.  These days, toolkits are built on the notion of all web sites having social features. Open Social allowed people to build apps on top of social networks.

Anatomy of “Connect”

– Profile (identity, accounts, profiles)

– Relationships (followers, friends, contacts)

– Content (posts, photos, videos, links)

– Activity (poked, bought, shared, blogged)

– Goal (Discovery of people and content)

Friends can be the best filters for what’s happening on the Internet.

What more can we be doing?

David says we can be doing three things to improve our social web applications:

1) Markup existing public data – make sure computers & search engines can *read* all data on your site. Make it easy for me to join – use XFN microformat services like hCard etc.

2) Stop leaking passwords! Emerging security service Ouarth – creates security without need for passwords. Use applications such as Movable Type’s Fireeagle that takes that process out of the eqation.

3) Support the OpenID application.  Plaxo used OpenID to great effect.