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Showing posts from May, 2008

Facebook vs. Google - Who's the Big Dog?

Shaun Connolly just joined us at Ringside, and he is already developing some interesting perspectives on the Social Web. Read his big dog pick...

To add my two cents, I think it is clear that Facebook is the big dog for Social Networking and Google is the big dog for the Social Web.

Facebook of course gets points for the rapid growth of their prime target social graph and extensive developer community - which are all targetted at making THEIR social network stronger.

Google gets points for trying to make Social a real part of the entire Web. The strong community they have built around Open Social is impressive. The ideas of Friend Connect open up social capabilitites to any website. These are efforts that make Social a part of the entire web.

Facebook has fought back. First by locking down Friend Connect from being a part of the Facebook community. Their current statements about moving to open source could put them into contention with Google in terms of "big dog" leaders…

Facebook to Open Source Platform?

Michael Arrington at Techcrunch posted that Facebook will be open sourcing their platform.

This is fantastic news for the Social Web. Facebook started this whole process a year ago when they launched the Facebook Platform – a set of API’s that application developers could use to develop social applications that work with Facebook. Google and others responded with Open Social, and took the extra step of providing an open source implementation. So far that implementation is mostly useful to the big social networks so they can open up to application developers like Facebook had done a year ago.

Having been in the open source business for over 16 years (anyone remember OSF Motif?) and more recently JBoss, we understand the many, many benefits of open source. Facebook had taken the position that others just had to rewrite the implementation based on their API. That is what Bebo and Ringside have done. But what a waste of time! One of the things that drew me to open source is being…

Facebook Takes a Swing at Google

Facebook came out swinging yesterday to defend their users and their turf. http://developers.facebook.com/news.php?blog=1&story=111. They have basically shut down Google’s use of their API to collect user profile and social graph information on the new Friend Connect service. Here’s my take on the background and what is going on…

Google has made a nice business out of an open Internet. Facebook carved out a nice little corner of the Internet with a social network that does not give Google the type of visibility they would like into that little corner. In addition, that little corner looks like it might be kind of valuable. Google makes a few moves like buying Orkut and amassing all the other social networking vendors and creating Open Social. Those things are OK, but not really opening up that corner that Google now has become to covet.

Well, the world of social network walled gardens kind of exploded last week. MySpace, Facebook and Google all seemed to rush announcements t…

Becoming Part of the Social Web

As my colleagues Jason Kinner and Rich Friedman (and many others) have pointed out, last week’s announcements by MySpace and Facebook to open up their user’s identity, friends and privacy to any website is a major step toward a Social Web. Now any website can start to offer socially aware applications, like putting a Facebook user’s profile picture on that user’s webpage, or listing friends to buy a gift for.

We are very excited because it gets website business owners thinking about the possibility of a more social website. And if enough websites start doing that, then a Social Web really starts to form. This is exactly the scenario we mapped out at the Passariello’s pizza parlor a year ago when we first started talking about this.

Website business owners will start to ask the same questions we were asking:

If some of my users are on Facebook and some are on MySpace, how do I hook them together? What about my website users who don’t use a Social Network? Can they benefit? Can I offer my …