Open up the network and be really Web 2.0

Warning rant.

My biggest complaint about social networks is they are basically a closed shop, and I have told that to anyone who will listen. You pour all this data in and if you want to leave, too bad you need to start again.


Finally it seems others are starting to see the light as well. Scott Gilbertson from Wired has written about the issue as well. Unfortunately he seems a bit out of touch.

First he uses Plaxo’s new Pulse service as an answer, yeah kind of. Second he says;

At this point, “friend” relationships remain unique to the social networks. The web still lacks a generalized way to convey relationships between people’s identities on the internet. The absence of this secret sauce — an underlying framework that connects “friends” and establishes trust relationships between peers — is what gave rise to social networks in the first place.

I beg your pardon? What about XFN and FOAF microformats?

If the real evangelists/architects of social networks had put effort in over the last 3-5 years we would have an open standard. I started speculating in Jan 2005 about using XFN for social networks, and I am not even in the social networking business. Also for all the services out there that have the concept of “friends” and claim to be open, collaborative and all Web 2.0’ish but do not support these standards? Shame on you.

End of rant.

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