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Open Facebook?
Jon Lebkowsky, 27 Jan 08

Facebook released their Javascript library so that developers can extend their Facebook apps to their own web sites. Transforming the barrier between its social networks could be very powerful. Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider says that "by extending to the web, Facebook will encourage even more third-party developers to build applications on top of its platform and more easily fend off Open Social and any other competing social graph platform. " More about Open Social here.

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I for one have less trust in Facebook than I do in Google. Facebook's advertising platform has become too invasive. Although I remain on facebook, I have stripped back my info. and useage on the site as I am not content with the way in which they use it. Obviously, privacy is an issue that people are becoming less concerned about on the Net, however, Google still feels like less of a user-cash-grab than facebook does.

Posted by: Leif on 27 Jan 08

Releasing an API is not even close to "open". I agree that this is a clever response to the threat of OpenSocial, but I hope developers are not fooled by it.

The main issue about openness is ownership. In the case of FaceBook, its a question of who owns my identity. I'm far from happy with the way it stands, absolutely baffled by people's indifference, and do not see how a few scripts change anything fundamental.

Posted by: Yishay Mor on 28 Jan 08

These are good points, and it would be interesting to talk more about them. Some followup questions:

Leif: Why are some of the uses you're not content with? What are some of the potential privacy issues that could emerge for persistent users of the platform?

Yishay: I think the question is whether the API is an open API. I admit that I made that assumption about the Facebook API without digging in to see whether that's the case. Have you looked at the API? Does it meet any of the suggested criteria for an open API?

Agreeing that even "open API" doesn't mean "open" in the true sense, is anyone developing technology for systems that will respect your ownership of your data? P3P doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. Will the Identity Workshops produce a similar standard that is broadly adopted?

Posted by: Jon Lebkowsky on 28 Jan 08

Have you ever heard the saying; "you can't take it with you"??? I think people miss the real big picture... Being an open platform is a good thing, but who are you helping to build up?? Individuals or Businesses are becoming marketers, self promoters but who's really leveraging all this the most? Facebook... If you can't own that space its not yours. I want a platform that empowers and enables users on any domain name they choose, so we can all stop buying milk and own the cow. Widgets, like the one's you can now make, like or seems to be on right track, then link all your favorite destinations off that...

Posted by: Dale on 29 Jan 08



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