Brian Oberkirch, Tantek Celik and Joseph Smarr: Future of Social Networks

Brian, Tantek and Joseph Smarr

Brian up first…
Be like the web – small piece, loosely joined.
Simplicity, modular design,…. Berners-Lee’s principles

Social networking fatigue… but increasingly we need more of them.
HAve to permanently ask are you my friend? And add new friends each time…

Building blocks are already out there to open up networks that will make the social web better.
Things we take for granted – RSS, Creative Commons licences – OpenID is increasingly gaining traction, also a part of this.
oAuth and Microformats too.

Tantek on stage to talk about building blocks.
Talks thought simple building blocks that you can use in less than a day.
Your profile – name, photo, notes, hyperlink – the hCard building block.
Profile equivalency – XFN rel = “me”.
Friends lists – hyperlinks to profiles, friend icons, name (in img alt text)

Social Network

Google’s social graph API is not an API for Google.com – it’s an API for the whole web.

Adding these building blocks to your site – hCard and XFN – enables Google to crawl this information.

Susprising how many sites already support all these things.
hCards + XFN supporting friends lists.
See http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard-supporting-user-profiles
See http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard-supporting-friends-list

When you update your icon on Flickr, it updates on GetSatisfaction too. All of which is making things easier and nicer for the user – which is what it’s all about.
It also has clear business benefits, speeds development – stop reinventing the wheel.

Joseph Smarr from Plaxo talks more about how open is good for business.

Plaxo helps people stay connected across a lot of different tools and services.
each of these social networks acts like you’ve never used one before in your life – enter profile information, email address, photo etc…

Shows sign-up page for Plaxo.com
Magically fillled out lots of information! Reduces sign-up attrition – and better for user.
Anybody can go out and do this today.

You can also get bigger, by being part of this ecosystem.
Graph of Josephsmarr.com – his online personae.
(But obviously not everything goes into this – not all personal data, some kept private)

Google already crawls the web, so in the perfect position to mine this data.

We are on the cusp of the Social Web
No social networking in 2002 when Joseph joined Plaxo. Exciting to see the power of taking the real social graph, the people you know and care about, and can see what it can do.
We are just at the very beginning – we are AOL and Compuserve in 1992. Once protocols of web are open and data control is in the hands of the user, amazing things are going to happen. We are at the beginning of a tremendous period of innovation.
Lock-in not an issue – the pie available is going to be huge! If you’re building social networks, you have a rich pile of data to work with. The value of all the connections that can be made is exciting.

dopplr.com a great example of ‘find my friends’ in action. Also corkd.com

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