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Social Data

August 5, 2008


I have been convinced for some time that we are in the midst of an important chapter of the web — the emergence of the social web.

This all started, of course, with the runaway success of a few large social networks like MySpace and Facebook, etc., which was followed by the legions of “social network for ___” plays. Soon, it became pretty clear that what was likely to happen was, rather than social networks replacing websites, what we would see was the larger sites embracing social features.

I still expect this is what will happen. But more and more what seems to be happening is the dominant social networks and social services offering their data — social data — to be incorporated into third party websites and web services.  Of course, this data will be used to enable third parties to offer social features, but I am becoming convinced that the data piece, and not the functionality piece, will be the key.

My conversation today with the founder of Gnip, former MyBlogLog founder Eric Marcoullier, has me all the more convinced.

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  1. August 5, 2008

    If facebook or myspace embraced data portability with their social data to other services (as you mentioned) I think it could be an interesting play for them as the authoritative user database for the internet.

    Hoping for the day that I don’t need to remember 10 different passwords for all the different forums I post on.

    I think they would be at a good position to build a simple API to do this and try to accomplish what microsoft tired with Passport. On top of that the data would be more meaningful too when you travel across sites… you take your conversations with you everywhere.

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