As you know from few posts on this blog, I am a huge supporter of user’s owning their social graphs. Over multiple posts, I have been laying out the need for a consolidated service, which hosts the graph (along with identity) for a user.
Last week this discussion caught some steam with some great posts by Tim Berners-Lee and Dave Winer. Dave’s post made me think that the data ownership problem is bigger than just the graph. Theoretically a user owns all the content they generate on any of these services. You know, things like Amazon ratings, YouTube videos, etc. While I don’t see anyone having the need for getting an XML file with this content for personal use. I do see them wanting to use this data on other services. For example (from Dave’s post) one can use their movie ratings at NetFlix and use it with Vudu or share it with their friends on Facebook.
This thought process clearly reflects that there are many graphs (social or otherwise) within many dimensions of services on the web. Every new service with any user generated content is creating a new graph. I talked about the need for consolidating the access to this graph in my last post. Given the dispersed nature of the graphs it will be pretty unrealistic for any web service to physically do that. Hence in this post I am recommending a slightly different mechanism whereby we can enable an ecosystem on the web and achieve the same results. So here it goes:
Shiva and Bhavna had a baby boy on Nov 22. His name is Arjun and as you can see he is super cute!
Welcome to the 100th edition of the carnival. This is a momentous milestone and it comes to you from foggy Santa Cruz. I have been participating in the carnival for past few months and am certainly lucky enough to host the 100th edition.
Before we jump into the posts, we should offer our gratitude to the people who made this happen. People who started this carnival and have maintained it for folks like us to enjoy. Please join me in thanking the following:
Russell Buckley and Carlo Longino of MobHappy who started it all back in Oct 2005. Along with Rudy De Waele they were original the visionaries. Finally Judy Breck and Troy Norcross for keeping the carnival going. Their efforts are really appreciated and without their leadership we wouldn’t have been enjoying this.
Few days back I talked about the OpenSocial initiative and how I believe that it can help making the online Social experience much better by enabling interoperability. Before that I have also talked about consolidation of online social experience. My theme continues to remain the same. How do we fix “Social Network Overload”? So in this post I am going deeper to the basics of the problem.
What is a Social Graph?
The term popularized by Mr. Zuckerberg (CEO Facebook) is a better name for your Social Network. Social Graph represents your network of acquaintances. It is a graph of your contacts (friends, family, coworkers etc). Services build upon the social graph and offer applications, which let you interact with your friends and acquaintances. Check out the Wikipedia page for in-depth details.
Where does it exist?
For a typical user, the social graph is broken and distributed among various services and applications. For example my graph exists across:
- Social networks I belong to, such as Facebook, Orkut, MySpace etc
- Business networks I belong to, such as LinkedIn, Plaxo etc
- My Email contacts, which exist on GMail, Outlook etc
- My IM buddy list
- My phonebook on my mobile handset
- Finally my blog visitors and Twitter followers
For some of you this list will probably be longer. Now these services and people I interact with represent my social realm of influence. So as you can see my overall graph is spread all over the place, over various services. I am sure most users are this way.
Met my idol Anthony Bourdain in Santa Cruz
As you know I typically cover technology and Web related topics on this blog. However in this post I want to switch gears. Today I was invited to a fund raiser by my good friends Bill and Susan Wishon. They are part of a non-profit organization called Mariposa’s Art, which helps “at risk” youth by conducting after school programs.
They primarily operate within Santa Cruz, Watsonville and San Jose areas. In 10 years of their operations, they have helped over seven thousand individuals. Their after school programs provide classes on art and music to youth, thus fostering their creativity. This is an excellent program as it builds creativity and prevents youth from getting into the wrong habits They also have student teacher programs, which enable students to teach, thus building confidence.
I was very impressed by their efforts and success. I recommend you visit their website and make a donation if you want to help.
I wish them Good luck and thank Bill and Susan for making me part of their efforts.
I am sure most of you know about Google’s latest initiative called OpenSocial. Google launched this effort to simplify and consolidate the ecosystem for application developers and Social Networks.
According to OpenSocial, Social Networks and other similar services can play hosts and implement to the standard Google API’s. Developers can write applications to these API’s and are automatically enabled to deploy them on any one of these hosts. This introduces the “Write Once, Run Anywhere” paradigm in the ecosystem. You can read more on their official website.
According to Google’s Vic Gundotra, this is valuable for both developers and host networks. With respect to Users, he mentions that they will receive “more, more and more”. More Applications, More Choices across More Websites.
Frankly, I disagree with Vic there. “More” is not always good. I will even go to the extent of saying that the idea of “More” is the single biggest problem with the social networking experience today. I have written about Social Network overload several times before.
As expected, on Monday (Nov 5th) Google announced their open mobile OS to the world, along with a very powerful new alliance with over 30 companies in the mobile space. Along with the announcement on their blog, they also organized a conference call where they brought industry leaders representing the strong alliance.
Over the past couple days I have been browsing and digesting the various aspects of this announcements and reactions from the blogosphere. This post is an attempt to distill down the details and offer my analysis of the situation.
Please bear in mind that this is only an early analysis. Once Android releases their SDK on Nov 12th, more details shall be available. I break this analysis into four simple categories, Salient items, impacts, issues and desires.
This is the third and final part of this series. If you haven’t read the first two, check them out here:
- Part 1
- Part 2
The news around GPhone has heated up in past few weeks. There have been several reports of Google working with wireless carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint. WSJ even reports that the announcement can come as early as Monday.
So it will soon be evident as what Google has in store for us. Until then we can speculate. So in this final post of the series, I look at two major components of the GPhone ecosystem, the “Application Ecosystem” and the all important “Revenue Enablement”.