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Thu, Nov. 8th, 2007, 12:45 pm
On Vox: OpenSocial Roundup

 At hi5 we've been busy busy busy getting OpenSocial up and running.  We released our developer sandbox, and are rapidly implementing features.  So check out the following URLs

Also, here's a copy of my response to Tim O'Reilly's blog post:

OpenSocial: It's the data, stupid

Hi folks,

Good comments all around. However I'd like to posit that data access is _not_ the problem. We've had universal standards for years now with little uptake. Tribe.net, Typepad, LiveJournal and others have supported FOAF for many, many years, which encompasses the OpenSocial Person and Friends APIs. Not much has come of that -- there isn't a large enough base there to get people interested.

Now you have a broad industry consensus on a single way to provide all of the above plus activity stream data. You have a rich client platform that allows you to crack open that data and use it in interesting ways, and finally you have a common standard for social networks to interact with each other based on the REST api.

So Patrick's statement at the Web 2.0 Expo is correct, a app running inside a container only allows you to see what that container shows you. However that does not mean that a container could not contain friend references to external social networks via it's own federation mechanism. Movable Type 4.0 has shown that you can support any OpenID login in a single system, there's no reason to believe that social networks could not leverage OAuth to do the same.

And here's a final point to consider -- you have Myspace opening up to developers. That's huge. That alone is going to draw more developer attention to this problem than much of the oh-so academic discussions of the past few years.

I suggest people that _want_ OpenSocial to solve all the social graph ills get involved on the API mailing list and make sure that those elements are addressed as OpenSocial evolves.

There's a tremendous amount of momentum. Let's not waste this chance.

Originally posted on paul.vox.com