Monday, August 11, 2008

Go Ringside for Social Activities

The goal of Ringside is to bring social capabilities to the entire web. Today, we are introducing an early demonstration of our Go Ringside Service that lets any website very simply add a social aspect to any activity.

As we talked about earlier, people are social in small groups around specific activities – going to dinner, traveling on a business trip together, asking friends for advice on buying something, talking about a video on YouTube, etc. There are millions of websites that offer a set of services to individual users for all of these things. As opposed to the large Social Networks, our Go Ringside Service let’s any of these websites simply add a JavaScript tag to their website and suddenly become social.

What does that mean? Well, you can see an example of adding social capabilities to the TicketMaster website. The demonstration shows a user buying a ticket and wanting to also invite some friends to go to the concert. The Go Ringside Service offers the user a way to not only invite friends to this concert, but enables this group of friends to keep track of who is going and to enable a discussion among themselves. If TicketMaster wanted to do some additional work, they could integrate this with our Social Payment service and allow users to buy tickets together in a variety of ways. To be clear, we have used GreaseMonkey to demonstrate this capability and the service is not running directly with TicketMaster.

From the website owner's perspective, a set of little mini social graphs are getting created around their web pages and activities. Having insight to these interactions can provide website owners with additional benefits beyond just making their website more engaging and enabling built-in word of mouth promotion.

Over the coming weeks, we will be introducing a number of other use cases and examples. We will also be describing the underlying technology in more depth for those interested in the plumbing. We are of course making use of the Ringside Social Server, and will be introducing this Go Ringside Service as a cloud-based service that anyone can use for free in the near future.

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