Open Social Networking


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Open Social Networking: What does it mean, why is it good and how do we achieve it?

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Open Social Networking

  1. 1. What does it mean, why is it good and how do we achieve it? [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>Data portability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ability to efficiently export user-generated content (UGC) held within a social network </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open social graph </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The availability of interpersonal relationship data to a given social network from another </li></ul></ul>[email_address]
  3. 3. <ul><li>Morally important – we should own our UGC </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of export options could discourage use of network, as users do not want to relinquish control (cf concern about Facebook’s ‘data black hole’ </li></ul><ul><li>Export options, from RSS to embeddable widgets increase opportunities for viral growth of network </li></ul><ul><li>Important for a competitive market </li></ul>[email_address]
  4. 4. <ul><li>Offers the chance for long tail, best of breed, SNs to emerge </li></ul><ul><li>Removes, to some extent, the necessity to achieve a critical mass before app becomes useful </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages user adoption as removes barrier of having to build a network of friends each time </li></ul><ul><li>Avoids spammy invite emails! </li></ul>[email_address]
  5. 5. [email_address] Pros Cons Allows third party apps to take advantage of pre-existing social graph, creating a quasi-open social graph Massive user base Provides an excellent user experience Provides a fairly capable API Ad revenue earned is app developers’ to keep Encourages viral app adoption through news feed and directory Dependent upon Facebook’s continuing good will/good fortune – what if it goes bust or falls out of favour? Requirement to build upon Facebook fundamentally limits application possibilities Facebook graph can never be as ubiquitous as an open social graph encompassing all social network users, everywhere
  6. 6. <ul><li>Extended OpenID (xOpenID) is a development of OpenID which could be the best vehicle to achieve an open social graph </li></ul><ul><li>It is OpenID which also holds information on social relationships </li></ul><ul><li>If we are serious about the future of social networking, surely relationship data is just as important as email and real name is today when using a web app </li></ul>[email_address]
  7. 7. <ul><li>xOpenID contains: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal ID data (such as email, real name etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Database of other xOpenIDs and the user’s relationship to them (probably via an XFN attribute) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each user automatically maintains their own ‘master’ list of contacts on xOpenID which can then become contacts on a given social networking site, depending on user choice and relationship to user </li></ul>[email_address]
  8. 8. [email_address]
  9. 9. <ul><li>Builds on pre-existing standards (OpenID and XFN) </li></ul><ul><li>Achieves a good balance between centralisation (one place which can be queried for a user) and decentralisation (no one person can have a monopoly over the social graph) </li></ul><ul><li>No reliance on direct inter-social network exchange of data, so no scope for a network to, for example, block a particular rival yet still accept imported data. </li></ul><ul><li>A user is able to maintain multiple xOpenIDs (as many users do now with OpenID) by interconnecting them with the “me” XFN attribute </li></ul><ul><li>Also solves the social networking fatigue problem (via OpenID) of having to enter personal identity information into every new social network </li></ul>[email_address]
  10. 10. <ul><li>xOpenID requires universal adoption by social networks in order to become useful. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a ‘chicken and egg’ problem – there is no pressure upon social networks to use xOpenID until all other social networks are. </li></ul><ul><li>There may even be a disincentive to do so, as it could enable greater churn- currently the bane of social networks. </li></ul>[email_address]
  11. 11. <ul><li>Facebook adopts it; </li></ul><ul><li>If the up-and-coming player were to adopt it then enough people would have it for it to be useful for niche social networks and gradually for other major networks </li></ul><ul><li>To create massive positive pressure for social networks to adopt it will always be more powerful than trying to circumvent non-adoption </li></ul>[email_address]
  12. 12. Social network Relationship and identity data UGC xOpenID, XFN Widgets, XML, ‘make public’ option, APIs etc [email_address]