Posts Tagged ‘open’

open sourcing – mepath

June 21, 2010

The code that is used to operate mepath.com was open sourced last week.  It is called the lifestylelinking – open source project.

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data decentralization

May 12, 2010

The gravity of Facebook has started to pull on all data on the web.  The opportunity of giving individuals the power to expand their social network to all places on the web is a good thing.  The question is: should one business be the monopoly provider of this utility?  Some young developers think their is a need for an alternative, a decentralized alternative, they have crowd sourced funding and are called Diaspora Project.

The team at RedWriteWeb have a great overview on them.  The most interesting thing they write about Diaspora is that they are using a wordpress like development stance, opensource on the one hand and a managed hosted service on the other, I’d call that a cloud service.  They point to no centralization but I have found that the wordpress.com service does exactly this.  They restrict the plugins and other functionality for security reasons.  I’d like to see us making this hosted or cloud service have the same standalone freedom as a self installed server has.  What technical implications that involves are not fully known but if the goal is to have data portability and interoperability of data at the individuals control then, we should aim for those same standards on the applications that enable that empowerment.

Is openess all about monetization?

April 27, 2010

I have been reading in the blogosphere for a while now that the drive for website owners to make their users data open is down to monetization.  This assumes they own the individual users data or have given the individual the privacy controls to make themselves open.  Publishing a website is an open action.  Don’t want to be on the web, don’t launch a website.  OK, others will do it for you but web at heart is all about sharing.  In the dot.com era sharing was built around webpages, and the verb of choice was search, latterly renamed ‘googling’.  As all the webpages could be crawled and indexed (creating value in shared connections between the pages, ie. pagerank) meant that users could search across the web and in exchange for that attention a business model based around advertising, adsense or CPC was made real, as businesses saw the benefit of paying cash for ‘interfering’ in the users attention.  Web2.0 shifted the focus from the page to people.

This throws up a problem according to the Semanticweb blog for CPC advertising in a people centric world,

“1. Help me communicate better with people I already know. Facebook does this well but it is does not monetize well. And there are tons of alternatives – texting/SMS, mobile phone, email and Skype for example.

They go on to extend the case to the situation where there is no need to be mutually connected, i.e. twitter, follow people you don’t know but have an interest in.  In this model the whole system is built with open set as the default and in the case of Twitter a revenue stream for first access to that stream.  Both these business models seem limited and The Semanticweb blog suggests FB solution is,

“Consumers pay by buying stuff. And the social media revolution has reminded us that people buy based on recommendation of friends more than they do from ads (whether traditional or search based). That is intuitively obvious to everybody. What is different is a massively scalable way to deliver those recommendations to vendors selling stuff.”

They point out this is the market where Amazon.com rules.  An e-commerce walled garden of information that via FB ‘like’ button could be distributed across the social web, at least via FB and the developers using its API?  Ironically, we potentially have the case where a dot.com era business model is opened up and made distributed by a web2.0 social garden.  It ‘s progress and it is all heading in the direction of openness.  What about the individual users, is this their vision for web2.0 or are they just happy to follow the web visionaries along until they know what they have let themselves in to?

context competition

April 26, 2010

Not everyone ‘likes’ the implication foreseen for the Facebook Like button.  Adina Levin’s writes concisely about social context, its benefits, the activitystream standard and competitive forces in the market of context services.   The current paradigm for FB news feeds is to author once and send to all (from F8 a FB solution to this is to introduce Dashboards from different application or likes).  Whereas Adina holds up an activitystream vision for users context to be given the “‘capability to create more refined – and contexually relevant – posting choices and reading filters”.  She makes the case that the ‘like’ button holds to a different social context vision one where “Facebook is your one and only source of context”.

The opensourcers at FB point to their adoption of RDFa and the flexibility this provides, especially when connected to the FB API, including freer access to all openGrapth data types.  Adina makes a call for FB to adopt the Activitystreams standard and to complete on a level playing field with others wishing to specialize in offering such services.  How can you compete?, offer websites an activitystream based services where the users get a better context experience and then let those users spread the word.

open or closed – it is all about data

April 22, 2010

The question: to be open or not to be open?  The GigaOM blog is going to be exploring this question in a series of blog posts.  The opening post sets out the scope of the debate from the desktop to mobile, servers and on the web.  For each camp both proprietary and open stance business/organisation have ‘leading’ positions. There don’t seem to be clear answer to the opening question.  But what about the questions itself. Is it the ‘biggie’ out there or is there a different way to look at the world now?

Time O’Reilly has already pushed the opensource movement forward to set the agenda to be about open data, as opensource code is sort of meaningless in a web2.0 world.  Upping the debate to the data level is where it is at.  Big ideas are out there like, VRM an idea focused on the individual and their rights and controls over their data.  If there is demand for this vision from individuals then there will be profound implication for all those, be it open or closed in their software, social connection or data freedom stance.