Friday, November 2, 2007

OpenSocial - Long Way to Go

I had already written about OpenSocial (OpenSocial and Facebook as Platforms) and frankly I was hoping for a lot more in the announcements and APIs.

I only have a cursory understanding of OpenSocial from reading various posts and from crawling through the API definitions, but it appears that OpenSocial has a long way to go before it's going to be useful for several of the applications we are working on. The problem with OpenSocial right now is that it:
only defines how you plug into platforms and grab the data, but it does not define the form and meaning of the data.
For example, if you want to match the people being returned as friends on one system and look them up on another system, there's no common identifier across systems. Until sites begin to agree on common patterns for objects like People, Groups, Activities then there's going to be a big barrier to doing a lot of the stuff that we want to do.

I'm sure this is obvious to Google and it's partners, but until this happens, don't get too excited about what interoperability means. It will make life better if you are developing applications that you'd like to play in multiple places (write once, integrate/debug everywhere). But it doesn't mean that I can share my social graph between LinkedIn and other sites any time soon.