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Opensocial is a mess, says Web 2.0 father

The main who first coined (opens in new tab) the term "web 2.0" has launched a scathing attack on Google's Open Social project calling it a "full blown disappointment" and "boring".

Tim Oreilly considers himself as "a proponent of an open social networking platform" but felt let down by Google after a Google developer made it clear that it would not be possible for developers to build applications that can mash up data from multiple Open Social member networks.

Data mobility - whether automatically or manually - is crucial for the development of any kind of network and has been the driving force behind the web 2.0 phenomenon.

Now Facebook bypasses this problem as its APIs are closed and like Myspace.com, it is a huge, growing ecosystem by itself. Open Social members on the other side are disconnected entities.

If privacy concerns have hit Facebook, much worst could come to Open Social if they decide to let data flow freely. Something a commentator to Tim Oreilly's post was quick to point to.

However, there might be a glimmer of hope as Google has posted a page on the Open Social Developer Guide that could do the job. The People Data API (opens in new tab) would "allow client applications to view OpenSocial People and Friends as AtomPub APIs with a Google data schema. Your client application can request a list of Friends, and query for People that match particular criteria."

Although the API hasn't been released yet, it might be the beginning of something along the lines of the remixing environment envisaged by Tim Oreilly.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.