Thursday, November 1, 2007

Google's Open Social: A Prediction

The social web - still like the Wild West
Google launched Open Social - a technology that is basically allows techies to write little things like facebook "applications" but make them accessible to a whole bunch of sites, not just facebook.

This is relevant to Linkspank (at least) because our facebook application is coming out soon. (It got slightly delayed - it looked too slight we added a little feature.)

There is no revolution here, just big companies and small companies playing the angles: big companies trying to lock in "network effects" of their user base by getting additional stickiness on their networks, and small companies trying to tap into the growing pie of big companies. Also big companies (Google) competing with other big companies (facebook) in trying to attract the attention of small companies and create richer networks.

My opinion on Open Social is the same as my opinion on facebook apps - Wild West-style openness is not such a good thing. It leads to lots of crap. Users want simplicity, and they want the good stuff and experiences. They don't want to sort through a bunch of crap.

I think cool stuff will come out of the Open Social platform - just like there are some cool facebook apps. But probably nothing all that great - just as none of the facebook apps have changed our lives. I also predict that the dust will settle in the future, and it will be a closed network, not an open network. The big players know this and they are rushing to be the one. :-)