Monday, May 19, 2008

CommunityOne 2008 - Open Social For Your Website

Dave Johnson and James Wood.

History: blogs, wikis, feeds and friends. All were websites.
- Enterprise vendors and portals are adding support for this kind of web site.
- Web 1.0 was hard. FTP.
- Then came wikis and blogs. All had feeds and RESTful Apis.
- Then the web became social. Friends and shareing.
- 2002-3 friendster. Myspace. Facebook. The demographic expands.
- Facebook launch their API. Become a platfom and social graph. Plugins to my web site an beyond
- Then google "answered" with Open Social.

What is a social? Share profile and activities and control the audience for this. Find friends, get a date , share a common endeavor.

As a platform. You don't build the apps. You let others do it on you.
Then rich profile info went to work. For better personalisation , sharing and group collaboration. Big vendors build this in. The social graph will converge with ID management

What is Google's Open social? Its a Javascript API built on top of google gadgets and a REST API in top of an extended atom publishing protocol ( but JSON will be added)

Open social api: It models people but you can't write to it. They can't change your data.
It also has activities: title, date, media file. Apps can create activities.
Persistence: you can store name value pairs.

The REST API mirrors JS API above.

There is an open social namespace to get details of supported functions.

Currently .v.0.7
Grouping is not done yet
Apache Shindig is the reference implementation
Plus the open social foundation is there but that's it

But there is still the silo problem. Open Social doesn't solve it. But there are some reasons to have done silos.
Linking/federation is possible (with FOAF or XHTML friends API) but there is no privacy ( though there is work to integrate FOAF with OpenID)

Is it open? Spec now out in December. Yes it is now.

Apache shindig: Javascript
Its a Java based Google gaget server.

What's missing?: It has no implementation of a social graph. You must use your one existing. You need to provide your own UI elements to edit profiles.

How do I use It?: write a facebook app? Whitelabel? Use apache shindig?
But my site didn't have an existing social graph!

Project social site:
- Build wigets and web services.
- Web services with full rest supper
- Socialsite adds a profile widget.
- Addresses UI piece with widgets. Profile, friends, groups,...
- Addresses editing, joining, accepting and managing
- It extends open social.

Value add: it has a comprehensive social graph.
- Easy to use widgets for java and ruby apps.
- Gadget management features
- ID management features with tie in to your ID management solution.

JMaki is the widget wrapper ( Netbeans and Nclipse support)
- Drag and drop to create an application
- Extended mediawiki example
- Wrote a mediawiki extension so that as a user you add a single tag to add the widgets to my profile page.
- Also done for the roller blog server as new templates.


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