Tag: social graph

Google versus Facebook versus the Free (and Open) World

Now if we can figure out where the user fits in.

Who, What, Why

After Facebook’s spring pronouncement that applications “get in but they don’t get out,” chatter about ubiquitous usernames and friends lists in a brown paper sack took on new meaning. Almost immediately, the talk on the web (including here) was OpenID this, social network portability that. The fight to pick vine ripe tomatoes from the walled garden was taking shape. But Google just showed up with a wrecking ball and a reaper. They’ve decided to chase the social graph (or social network…whatever). Maybe “chase” is too mild a term – according to some, they already have the components – all they are doing now is providing tools to release the information into the wild.

There was a lot of chatter over the weekend about this. I’ll highlight…

  • Michael Arrington says Google will “out open” Facebook with the announcement of a new set of APIs on November 5th. This information was garnered from talking to several attendees to a “secret meeting” of which a signature on a non-disclosure agreement was required for admittance.

    It doesn’t seem all that tough to do, “out open” Facebook, particularly considering every time anyone links to something in Facebook I’m forced to log in to see it. Hence, I don’t see much, and if a widget that allows me to customize the “message” of some recording artist’s album promotion is any indication of what’s behind those links, I won’t be making many attempts in the future either.

  • Open door networks, closed door meetings. NDAs? The competition was not amused.
  • Kristen Nicole of Mashable noted:

    This also brings up questions regarding Google’s plans for rolling out premium Google Apps packages through companies like Capgemini.

    I concur. And I suspect there will be a lot more NDAs being signed in the near future – the parties involved need to figure out what to tell those sought after corporate clients once they lift the lid off of consumer data.

  • Marshall Kirkpatrick steered towards gloom and doom:

    Google holds our search histories, our email, our calendars, the view of earth…

    STOP! Who the hell is “our” here…you and the mice in your pockets? I rarely search when I’m logged in, my search history is set to off, I delete all cookies when I close my browser, etc. etc. I don’t use Gmail for anything remotely important, and I don’t use Calendar. We’ll just chalk that up to foresight (and I know a lot of people that behave the same way). But, Marshall did hit this on the head…

    I think what’s needed is a federated ID system like OpenID to tie everything together, not one corporate body that can already claim near omniscience.

    Bravo. Mr. Kirkpatrick gets it very well indeed.

  • Yes, the winds of change are upon us, and even they were talking:

    But I’d be a helluva lot happier of they had started with the basic principles and mechanisms for ensuring privacy and announced those first – before releasing working code modules.

  • Conclusions? No.

    It’s obvious there’s going to be a lot more talk about this. Anyone drawing conclusions now is drawing them prematurely. I suggest waiting (and listening) before you decide to export all your Gmail.

    The Social Graph and Participant Motivations

    Two interesting articles on social networking and data elements from Read/WriteWeb, compliments of Alex Isgold and Bernard Lunn.

    Some will find them lengthy for blog posts, but follow through. Bernard’s concluding inquiries on network types reads like the first chapter of an introductory sociology course. Smart stuff.