Allowing The Outside Web To Come In

Sep 23, 2007 Michael Wurzer

The technical blogs are buzzing about Six Apart’s call to use open standards for social networks and Google’s leaked announcement that it will be creating new APIs opening up access to the “social graph” data in their system. Through all this, the most interesting comment I found was on the TechCrunch post, with the parts I found most interesting highlighted:

What everyone still seems to not understand is that Facebook is becoming the new Internet. Consider the general trends:

1. Nerds create web to share info with one another
2. Businesses create content to attract non-nerds
3. Penetration and adoption rates skyrocket; web becomes messy

Right now, the web is over-run. It’s just simply ugly and the value of each additional bit of content is constantly decreasing as is the chance that that bit of content (or application) will be able to attract a user’s attention.

4. Social networks pop up, offer walled experiences
5. Users rely on aliases to articulate identity, interact
6. Social networks not sticky; offer limited data to businesses

So at this point a user has multiple online homes and also touches multiple vendors through separate accounts. They are still going outwards to businesses and outwards to find information (on this increasingly ugly web).

7. Sites like Mahalo spring up to re-organize the web
8. Facebook stays closed, but allows the outside web to come in
9. Users must selectively choose which elements of the outside web they let in to facebook.

Ultimately it appears that Facebook is simply building out a cleansed version of the Internet. And yes, many of the applications are annoying and wonky, but look a bit more down the road –> they have the guys who were going to launch Parakey and eventually they’ll likely have a majority of the web-savvy world on their application, which doesn’t look kindly on aliases and fights spam with a really big sword.

So all of this said, I’m not sure that what Google is coming up with can beat this unless

a) they give each person/user an individual public and private web presence (think google people pages…we can’t assume wink, peekyou, spock will make it) or

b) they let people interact with different levels of a “cleansed” web.

One can only assume that whatever move they make will ultimately be to the benefit of Ad partners, as well, by giving more targeted info.

So either way, exciting times it seems like. Just wish Google would acquire facebook and make the world an easier place to interact with.

Isn’t this highly relevant to the Future of MLS?