Open Social

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Your social network is quickly opening up to all kinds of new business oportuntities. Last week Google unveiled a new set of application program interfaces (APIs) that allow third party programmers to build widgets that take advantage of personal data and profile conections on a social network site. In other words, applications will be connected to your Linkedin network so that, for example, people you know will be able to see which books you read or which airline you prefer. The initiative dubbed Open Social was marked ‘open’ because developers don’t have to create completely new applications for each site (read more about this on ZD news). This allows one single application to tap into not only the network of Linkedin but also into the networks of say Hyves , Plaxo and friendster, indeed connecting your knowledge and tastes with the millions. Interesting showcase is Shelfari that let’s you create a virtual bookshelf of the books you are reading that you can share with your network(s).

This opens up a whole new ballgame for all the digital heritage files we are in the process of digitizing: Open Social may allow you in the future to build a whole library of film footage and art collections you want to recommend to friends or colleagues; Tapping into the right networks may also allow much more efficient sharing of information about photographs that that nobody knew existed anymore. Who knows, adding metadata might become a favorite social activity of our children and grandchildren.