NOTE: This is a post I did awhile ago (but had to push to the back burner – as we’re shipping a large site right now.)
It was created when I was editing the video of a speech UI gave in Rotterdam in Sept. The cameraman was pointed at me the entire time and missed the slides, so I then edited the presentation video and laid the .ppt slides on top of it – and came up with this video – which is yet another version of my treatise “How to build the Open Mesh”. Anyway – in this speech I mention that if you type “Open is the new Black” into Google – I come up. Here’s what I say about it – in the speech:
“That’s our SEO – come up with a good idea, and Google will remember it. That’s the ultimate SEO = quality of the idea.”
There’s plenty of evidence out there that freeing users from lock-in and opening up the data of a system – is a good thing. Providing APIs to that data is enabling what Fred Wilson calls ‘Content APIs‘ and that’s also a good thing. I have a chapter in my book about “persistent ubqiutous content” on just this very subject.
So we’re seeing open permeate throughout our world and raising it’s head in lots of interesting ways.
My friends David Recordon and the Plaxo dudes (Joseph and John) along with Chris Messina have a IPTV show called “theSocialWeb.tv” and it’s probably the best thing out there to highlight the status, trends and memes of this world and which dives deeply into the geeky issues surrounding “open social networking”.
But in fact – it goes beyond just social networking. Social features will soon be built into all software. That’s something else Fred Wilson is figuring out. So we’re seeing him (and his VC cohorts) start to invest in all sorts of open platforms and products, but they’re missing a crucial element to the game – contributing back to teh community. So that’s why I created the post “Taking advantage of open for proprietary reasons“.
Yahoo has finally launched their underlying ID layer – almost four years after I first asked Jerry Yang and Dan Rosensweig for that. Over the subsequent 3.5 years I was told “it was coming”, “yah yah – we’re gonna do that“, “yah sure – we’ll have APIs for MyYahoo” – but yet as of this writing we still don’t have two-way APIs into MyYahoo.
The BBC seems to be getting their open act together – and building their own underlying ID layer under the leadership of Eric Huggers. They’d better – they promised us Open BBC almost four years ago.
Microsoft has launched their Open Live Mesh Cloud thingie – Azure. And Facebook and MySpace (though clerarly closed meshes) are opening up – in their own way.
iGoogle appears to be positioning itself as a key aspect of Google’s “digital lifestyle aggregaton” strategy. With clean integration with OpenSocial, Reader, Gmail and (one would assume) ALL the suite of Google apps – iGoogle will soon be the state-of-the-art dashboard which I talk about in Chapter 6 – “UI Objects” – in my book.
But that doesn’t mean that NetVibes is going away – they’re starting to white label.
And lord knows what’s gonna happen once Clearspring and Gigya start running ads in their widgets. That is one of the key milestones of our monetizable distributed business model. And heaven help us once Twitter declares their business model next year. Or FriendFeed starts to ‘experiment’ with ads. Watch for stampedes of new proportions.
Some call it the open stack. Others are bent on user identity oriented focus or an enterprise approach. It really doesn’t matter. Open will come in a myriad of sizes, shapes and packages.
Yes indeed – Open is the new Black. Everyone is doing it, in their own way – which is EXACTLY how it’s supposed to happen – to build an open mesh – where others can come in and participate.
Key milestones coming up:
- a panel we’re doing at Digital Hollywood on Oct. 28th in LaLa – which rocked
- Internet identity Workshop – Nov. 10-12 in Mountain View, CA
- a panel we’re doing at LeWeb8 in Paris on Dec. 9th.
Until then – stay tuned and just keep chanting this:
“Open is the new Black” – on the BART
“Open is the new Black” – on University Ave. Palo Alto
“Open is the new Black” – on St. Marks in the Lower East side.
“Open is the new Black” – at Canter’s deli on Fairfax.
“Open is the new Black” – aht the public gahdens in Bahstun, on the Swan boat.
“Open is the new Black” – at the So. Kensington tube stop.
“Open is the new Black” – at the Janpath market in Delhi.
“Open is the new Black” – in Akasaka at the Hostess bars.
“Open is the new Black” – in Christiania in Copenhagen.
“Open is the new Black” – at Grey Area in Amsterdam”
“Open is the new Black” – at the Cafe San Marco in Trieste (where James Joyce went every night for 20 years.)
Saturday, November 1st, 2008 | Time:
, digital lifestyle aggregation
, James Joyce
, Open is the new Black
, open social networking
, underlying ID layer
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I’ve been catching up – since returning from Europe and one of the biggest things that happened while I was away was the launch of Y! OS. There’s a great interview putting it all into perspective at theSocialWeb.tv with Cody Simms, the marketing manager of Y! OS at Yahoo.
One of the things that Chris Messina said which really resonates is that it’s time for vendors to show the benefits of being open.
We (as users) complain allot and make demands (as we should) but only until vendors (like Yahoo, Amazon, Google, etc.) can show that being open not only satisfies user’s demands, but it also can have bottom line ramifications, prop up a brand and give vendor’s the ablity to participate in our ‘open mesh’ of the future.
John McCrea also brings up that by utilizing open technologies developers can bring their products to market faster, standing on the shoulders of others by propagating their apps and services with user’s social graphs – in a timely manner.
How coolio is it that a generation of social prodfucts can now socialize – faster!
This is key key stuff folks. The open web goes mainstream!
Thank you Yahoo – for doing the right thing!
And I can’t wait to hear more about OpenSocial templates!
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 | Time:
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I’m finalizing my book “How to build the Open Mesh” and Mary Hodder suggested that I add some Appendices on how various BigCos are building THEIR versions of the open mesh.
So here is Appendix – B.
Yahoo probably has the most comprehensive, well architected approach towards building their own open mesh. They’ve left lots of room for us without getting in our way. Now they just have to execute those plans!
Enabling OpenSocial gadgets (or any other kind of widget) inside of any Yahoo property and providing a rich set of APIs into an underlying ID layer is pretty dam coolio. Any ID system, social networking platform or web app should be able to seamlesslly mesh into the 150M Yahoo strong. What Flickr did for photos, so will Y! OS do for the open mesh.
As a modern day media entity Yahoo can show the world how content + technology + open can mean monetization for all. What I especially like is their leadership in supporting structured content and making sure that its all standards based.
Yahoo is poised to come back in a big way if they can execute this architecture correctly.
Thursday, August 28th, 2008 | Time:
Tags: open mesh
, underlying ID
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Now that Facebook and MySpace have truly opened up and will allow their users to move their profile data, social graph and content to other systems (under certain access controls) its time to talk about these behemoths connecting together via the OpenID Attribute Exchange.
Initially developed by Dick Hardt and Sxip Networks - the Attribute Exchange specification as it exists today was contributed to OpenID2 – as it became clear that OpenID was the winning solution for identity management.
First off I want to thank Dick for his enlightened approach and understanding of the politics and nuances surrounding evolving open standards and I’m excited as hell by something Allen Hurff (SVP of MySpace) said to me at the recent Facebook f8 conference:
“We looked at Attribute Exchange and we like it, but we need to do some extensions to it to match our solution.”
So this blog post is a plea to Allen, Dave Morin (Facebook), Kevin Marks (Google), Eran Hammer-Lahav (Yahoo), Angus Logan (Microsoft), Joseph Smarr (Plaxo) and of course David “get it done” Recordon (SixApart) to work together and extend the Attribute Exchange – so that we (the industry) can ALSO mesh into this compatibility ‘river’ of data and deliver to ALL our users and customers the ability to freely and easily flow their data – wherever the hell they want.
And let’s not forget Chris Messina and Will Norris (Vidoop and DiSO), Stephen Paul Weber, Leah Culver, Ben Laurie, Brad Nueberg, Simon Phipps, Scott Kveton, Tantek Celik and Brian Oberkirch – and all the other independents who are working on open social networking – in their various guises and scenarios. Or Dave Winer.
I know I’ve been ranting about this for a while (my wife actually complained to me that she’s sick and tired of hearing the same dam thing over and over again) but I hope you all agree that this idea’s time has come.
The key ascept to these extensions (from my POV) is matching, mapping and normalizing the various techniques of access controls. This will facilitate the smooth movement of user’s data between systems – with concise privacy and access controls over that data.
If one sets up their controls – in say Facebook (and utilizes their recently announced ‘dynamic privacy‘ system) then it HAS to match up to whatever MySpace and Google are doing. And vice versa.
And Microsoft is gonna have to play along with us – as well. We need to put the user’s best interests first and let that dictate what happens. But it seems to me that Facebook’s DRM bits for people sort of sets a standard level of behavior here – so the trick will be how others can get compatible with Facebook (utilizng other techniques.)
The goal is that (let’s say by Thanksgiving) we all have a normalized set of access controls with which we can interop between. It’s not just about enabling Facebooks apps to work outside of Facebook. Its about moving MySpace data into Facebook, then moving it to Orkut or Microsoft’s world – and back to Yahoo or Plaxo.
I’ll leave the technical details to you folks as to what exactly needs to get extended and mapped. But certainly upcoming efforts on ‘portable contacts‘ will supply us with a standardized schema and set of APIs to interconnect the PUT and GET of profile info.
Now we need to just all agree upon some common notions of media, messages, events and places, and of course the 800 lb. gorilla of them all – social graph. Both FOAF and XFN provide ways of doing that.
So let’s have at it.
BTW here are Dave Morin Allen Hurff and Kevin Marks (and me) at f8:
Final note – Allen says to me: “we’re trying to decide between FOAF and XFN” and I immediately say BOTH dude BOTH! We need them BOTH!
Sunday, July 27th, 2008 | Time:
Tags: Attribute Exchange
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