Posts Tagged 'MySpace'

Is MySpace data availability truly more open?

In the post MySpace Opens Up The Data Pipe With Full Launch Of Data Availability, Arrington praised MySpace on fully launching data availability

MySpace is taking a much more interesting approach than Google, which controls data sent to third party sites via an iframe. MySpace is actually streaming data to these sites, which allows for true integration between the services, not just a bolted-on social tool.

My initial reaction is awesome, now I (as a 3rd party service provider) can consume the open user data but reading further into the article

Since actual data is being streamed out of MySpace, they have a strict terms of use policy that forbids third party sites from storing or caching the data, other than the unique MySpace user id of the user. Each time a page is rendered the third party must re-request the data from MySpace via a set of APIs. That means any changes by the user to their MySpace profile data or friends list will be instantly applied across third parties who access the data.

So basically MySpace TOS forbids me to do anything more than what is currently allowed by Google Friend Connect. Granted that there is a technical difference between the two, Google Friend Connect uses an iframe and MySpace actually lets the data out, there is no inherent difference in the 3rd party service provider ability to consume the data. In fact I would argue that it is more work for the 3rd party service provider to provide a UI page to render the data rather than just sticking in an iframe and letting Google do the heavy lifting.

Saying that MySpace’s data availability solution solves the problem of constant syncing of data so that the users remain in control is like Facebook saying that they are blocking Google Friend Connect due to user privacy concerns. IMHO the real reason is to maintain control and quoting the user privacy concern is merely a convenient PR front for both companies. I am surprised that Arrington is buying into MySpace’s PR spiel especially since he called Facebook on their user privacy concern blocking Google Friend Connect.

Storm in a teapot

Kara Swisher wrote a post recently Twitter: Where Nobody Knows Your Name. While attending a wedding at Washington D.C., she did an informal technology survey with about 30 people all of whom were quite intelligent, armed with all kinds of the latest devices (many, many people had iPhones, for example) and not sluggish about technology.

There are her findings (not at all surprising to me), quoting from her article

The grand total who knew what Twitter was: 0
Same goes for FriendFeed: 0
Widget: 1 (but she thought it was one of the units used in a business class study).
Facebook: Everyone I asked knew about it and about half had an account, although different people used it differently.

So her conclusion,

In other words, confirming for me what I wrote last week about the intense obsession with the hottest new services like Twitter and FriendFeed, in the echo chamber of Silicon Valley, and how no one else cares yet.

Basically all the fuss about FriendFeed and Twitter in the tech world sounds very much like storm in a teapot, I couldn’t agree more. But the question then why is a service like Facebook so much more mainstream than FriendFeed or Twitter? Perhaps it’s a matter of time before Twitter and FriendFeed gets more adoption but IMO, the simple answer is that the value of Facebook, likewise MySpace or Youtube, is immediately obvious to non-techie users. If a service make non-techie users work to figure out how to use it, you have lost them, pure and simple. Also, I suspect that non-techie users have no idea what a feed is, much less feed aggregator or mashups.

This post is actually a lead up to my next post on a current ongoing DataPortability DIY project of the month on rel=me adoption, rel=me is a XFN (XHTML Friends Network) microformat standard, I will explain more in the next post.

Danger, Will Robinson!

This post from techcrunch today, As Predicted, Yahoo Joins OpenSocial. But Wait, There’s More, has raised concerns for me for the DataPortability project.

At this moment, there are no official published DataPortability standards / blueprints, yes there is a page that lists various open source technologies on DataPortability site but nothing official. And it looks like the 3 big guys (Google, MySpace, Yahoo) have taken the opportunity to rally around Google’s OpenSocial as one data portability standard under the charter of a non-profit foundation OpenSocial Foundation like OpenID.

IMO, this could spell trouble for DataPortability.org. If sufficient momentum gathers around this initiative with already published standards (and why not, 3 big guys are already on it), it can become the de facto standard quickly rendering yet-to-be-established DataPortability standards inert. The expression that comes to mind “Danger, Will Robinson!”.