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Breaking down the walled gardens - Sister Accounts using OpenSocial

November 3rd, 2007 Posted in Uncategorized

A big concern about OpenSocial is that the various social networks (’containers’) will still remain silos. Check out this diagram from the Campfire One video… At the top are the various networks - silos - and then they are linked to the ‘developer’… But the containers are still walled gardens, right?

OpenSocial Silo Diagram One

Well, not according to Hi5 Architect Paul Lindner. In a recent post he enthused that OpenSocial actually breaks down the walled gardens. In this example he describes users identifying “sister accounts” - for example I can advise MySpace that I am also on LinkedIn…

“The reason OpenSocial has tremendous uptake was due to its simplicity and wide applicability.

Federating logins across multiple containers is a whole different game.

That said, one thing that isn’t mentioned much in the launch is the RESTful Server-Side version of OpenSocial calls.

The potential is there for one OpenSocial container to make calls to another OpenSocial container, once the credentials are set using OAuth.

For example, let’s say that a hi5 user adds a livejournal ’sister- account’ to their profile. Then, using OAuth that hi5 user can allow hi5 to talk to livejournal’s server side open social API.

That’s one reason I’m so excited about this. Open Social is breaking down the walled gardens and allowing interoperability where it never existed before.

Now that is promising…

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Open Social is Google's attempt to become the centre of social networking. The program's launch partners constitute top social networking application developers and 2nd tier social networking hosts.