A couple of notes about the @f8 keynote from Zuck. He's still a very awkward public speaker. I think if he were to simply acknowledge that fact to everyone and make a joke about it, he could probably relax a little.
- I like the integration of the open social graph Zuck referred to, but I don't like that it is on a non-standard platform...
- Facebook is going to have a an optional Social bar available to site administrators that goes at the bottom of any site--contains the chat popup, list of friends, activity stream, etc. Keeps the social system going while you are on the 3rd party site with the open graph protocol and api. ....a little frightening just how pervasive FB has become.
- Looks like FB are doing a pubsubhubub equivalent.....
- Integration with Docs.com and Facebook ….I guess socialites always wanted the social graph integrated across the web. The next question is how comfortable we all are with Facebook owning that graph.
- Felt weird watching Bret Taylor standing up on stage representing Facebook instead of Friendfeed. I don't think I had fully absorbed the fact that he had moved over to facebook until that moment....
So what to make of all these changes? I’m kind of stuck between awe and worry.
Awe, because Facebook really are on the cusp of embedding themselves in just about every major site on the net, allowing users to seemlessly connect with their social graph without actually leaving the site. They will become a middle layer.
However I’m worried because the social graph is being centralized on facebook. The social graph should be a decentralized structure. I should be able to cut facebook out of my social circle but not loose my social graph. I know that seems impossible, but it really shouldn’t be. Not sure how this would be implemented, as there still needs to be some sort of central repository for our connected graph. But what I want is the ability to control where that repository is stored.
Could some sort of universal social id that is registered like a domain name or phone number work? Is that too Big Brotherish? There could be a way to update your social id record with the list of social ids you’d wish to follow like we do on Twitter, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft or any social network. Really it’s about standardizing the friendlist and giving us ownership over that list instead of depending on one particular company; in this case Facebook.
I would say the majority of users on the internet currently have an account with either Google, Facebook, or Microsoft. These guys need to get together and find some sort of federated control of who you follow across all the networks and allow you the granularity to control who gets what information based on interest, personal, business etc.. If that weren’t difficult enough, it also has be simple enough so you don’t have to be a programmer to control your privacy settings and accidentally publish a picture from a party to all your professional contacts.
Unfortunately when you take a step back you realize this is asking facebook the equivalent of asking the telco carriers to give up the last mile into everyone’s home and simply share it with the competition so us users can benefit from a more competitive environment. …pffff….that won’t be happening any time soon.
At the moment, I think the only other company that has a hope of competing for that same social graph is Google; unfortunately they are way way behind; maybe too far behind.