Monday, May 12, 2008

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 own mini social network for my users that hooks into the bigger social networks?
  • How do I develop social applications that take advantage of all these social networks?
  • Do I really want to give the big social networks my data that my users trust me with?
  • Can I learn more about my users by understanding their social interactions better?
  • Can I retain the context of the social interactions that have to do with my business?

For websites to really become part of the Social Web, they need their own Social Application Server. One that is open, one that works with their own infrastructure seamlessly, one that connects with Facebook and MySpace and Open Social, one that lets them build their own social graph for their website users, one that helps them understand the context of the social interactions their users are making.

Today, Ringside Networks is the first company that is building this. We have a chance of being an important piece of creating the Social Web. We look forward to helping you become part of the Social Web as well.


jdcpharoh said...

really enjoying your stuff Bob. Trackback from

Mark Little said...

Hey Bob, great to catch up with you and the gang last week. I still think Social Broker ( or Social Fabric is easier on the eyes (and mind) than Social Application Server ;-)