Thursday, April 19, 2012

About the openness

Google is complaining about the direction where Internet is going. Apparently, they say that there is less openness these days and it seems that the bad guy is Facebook, which is collecting user generated content which is not shared in an open way.  I am puzzled.

If this is a genuine rant why are they building Google+ which is just a copycat of Facebook? Also, why they collect search data since 1998 about everyone's behaviour but they don't share this data with the rest of the world?

Long time ago, I dreamt about a different world with open standards for exchanging facebook-like news feeds but hosted by different providers (remember RSS and ATOM? something similar but social) so that data is public. Then, the aggregation is centralized and you access aggregated information in a similar way to what is happening nowadays with search engines. In that ideal world, login would be no longer centralized but it would be based on openID. The social graph would be shared across different servers and remote nodes would be just special form of href, so that someone can index public data.

(this is my personal idea and it's not representing any opinion expressed by my company)


  1. Surprisingly, I constantly think about the same idea. The huge overhead of centralized infrastructures, limitations to personalization, scalability issues, I see it every day. The problem is how to bootstrap a P2P system and not be killed by "central-oriented" businesses, because "control" over the data is the main their asset.

  2. Sounds like you would get along well with the Diaspora team, Antonio :) In terms of data format, we're pretty much there if people will more widely adopt the Activity Streams format. I was really happy this past week when looking at Gnip's API (they are a social activity aggregator). They make all of their data, whether Facebook, Twitter or anything else, available in the Activity Streams format, which means you just need to have a dev team work with a single API response for all* of the social web. (*almost)