I recently heard word of yet a new initiative by Google, “Open Social.” Originally, I thought Google was launching it’s own Facebook, which I thought was the exact opposite of what we needed (I already have waaaay too many usernames and passwords to remember!). However, after I researched the concept and found many, many articles written in a technical language I did not understand, I came across one that explained the program quite nicely, “Details Revealed: Google OpenSocial To Launch Thursday.”
If I’m not misunderstanding, Open Launch allows programmers of applications, or widgets to build their creation in one uniform markup language and still be able to launch it across all social networking sites. Before Open Launch, programmers were not able to do this because each network (Facebook, MySpace, Plaxo, etc) has a different markup. Of what I have heard about it, it seems as if Google has once again found another way to put itself in the center of Web 2.0. And just in time, too, when the popularity of the various “applications” on Facebook and MySpace is exploding.
If you’re not familiar with these social networks, the applications include A Pirates Game, where users can search for gold and engage in pirate battles with their friends, a Comparison application, where users can collectively compare their friends and vote them “best dressed,” or “most reliable,” and even something as simple as a Video application, available both on MySpace and Facebook, which enables users to watch and share videos online.
If anybody has any thoughts, or would care to explain the more technical side of the Open Social idea in a way that is much easier for those who don’t speak the technical language to understand, please, please feel free to comment or send me an email!