Lots of the SNs out there now are using Octazen's technology or similar to provide a function that says "Find my friends and create invites from my webmail contact list." This is a first step to porting your social graph from one SN to another. Quite a lot of us have taken to using GMail as the master contact list, simply because it has the widest support for this function.

Now imagine two extensions to this. SN owners (and Octazen) add two more possibilities to the user interface
1) Give me the URI of your FOAF file.
2) Tick the boxes or give me the URI for networks that support the OpenSocial Data APIs.

There's some fine detail in here to make this common:-

- We need a common identifier as well as Email Address. If we used foaf:mbox_sha1sum we get past some of the privacy issues around publishing email addresses.

- Which means that SNs should index their membership on foaf:mbox_sha1sum

- We should try and get foaf:mbox_sha1sum added to the OpenSocial GData people definition. Or we should establish a convention that the foaf namespace is added to GData output by supporting SNs and
foaf:mbox_sha1sum is filled wherever possible.

- SNs should support AuthSub as well as OpenID and whatever other single signon standards they support.

Do you see what Google have done here?

Quite apart from SN graph portability, if lots of sites support the OpenSocial data APIs, what new Apps and Mashups does this enable? Is there a chance that we'll see the same explosion of helper apps and
mashups that grew up round Twitter?

[ << Another take on OpenSocial ] [ Implications of Twitter providing OpenSocial Data APIs >> ]
[ 05-Nov-07 8:27am ] [ , , ]