Social software – the roadmap forward?

Earlier this week there was a launch of a new open web API called OpenSocial. Marc Andreessen writes a bit about it on his blog (Update 2010-05-28: Article gone – only links to his blog). He says that OpenSocial is an API that can be supported by “Containers” or social networking systems like Orkut or LinkedIn, and “Apps” – applications that can be embedded within those containers. An open Facebook platform if you like.

Six Apart is one of several providers of what we call “Social Software”. In their case they have focused on different blogging solutions. Some of the most known are “TypePad”, “Movable Type” and “Live Journal”. In a recent article or blog entry they told us what I would like to think of as their manifesto. Here they focus on a few main ideas around the new OpenSocial initiative (I admit that I am paraphrasing their bullet points):

  • You can use whatever applications and whatever networks you want, we think that is OK.
  • There isn’t going to be One Big Winner, people will be using lots of networks and applications.
  • We need Open Standards for it to work.
  • The users have to have control, and the tools must honor privacy.
  • OpenSocial combines the best from a lot of sites and applications.
  • OpenSocial enables people, not the politics between big companies.

Impressive. If they stand by this they are quite altruistic, or … are they?

Oh, I find the OpenSocial initiative quite interesting and it fits many of my views. Google is one of the participants so that makes it probable that it will be utilized and get some press coverage. I look forward to see what the effects of this are going to be.

If you want to see what Digg thinks about SixApart and OpenSocial check out this link.

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