Introducing OpenSocial

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David Glazer, Director of Engineering at Google and leader of Google’s OpenSocial team presented at Graphing Social. He started with a perspective that the cloud is here.

Fast, easy, open, and everywhere are key reasons why cloud computing wins. The cloud is about getting the computer out of the way so that we can be more productive.

How does this matter in the social cloud? Getting the computer out of the way so that we can interact more easily and be more productive. People are the killer application of the web. This is not new. Getting me to the information I want has a long history. email, newspapers, bookstores, ftp, gopher, bbs all were the beginning of this. Social used to be spelled c-o-l-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-i-o-n.

Need to get the accidental barriers out of the way.

When Google thought about social they started by asking where would it be better to do things with friends. ie add “do it with friends” to end of sentence such as – You will plan a trip with your friends.

Hard problems still out there. These are accidentalt barriers.

Fragmented authentication is a problem. Different logins across sites cause people problems. OpenID is a good start, but has a ways to go.

Fragmented social connections. Too many places to set up friend.

Fragmented applications across sites – not the same everywhere my friends are.

Goal is tomake the social web better. The end result any app, any site, andy friends without having to think about it.

First step is to share the pain.

OpenSocial’s goal is to allow you to

  • Invent it
    • xxx with your friends
  • build it
    • standard web app (html/javascript)
    • new JS APIs(who I am, who I know, what I do)
  • Run it
    • on any social site that runs api

There were a number of surprises from launching OpenSocial:

  1. Breadth of interest. Classic social networks wanted to use it, the business oriented sites wanted to use it, enterprise software wanted to use it, communities wanted to use it. Lots of different types of uses, all with the same basic use case.
  2. Open source is a good idea. Shindig in Apache incubator was set up, thanks to Brian McCallister at Ning. Clear mission, open license, engaged community and real world use.
  3. Execution is hard. The idea is ahead of the execution. This is what’s next.
  4. Questions about can you also help with… connections across networks that extend the solution to other aspects of connecting people, apps and sites.

What’s next?

  1. Get the spec and build apps
  2. Contribute to Shindig
  3. Join the group and grow the spec

[tags]gspwest08, graphing social, OpenSocial[/tags]

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