Philosophical Ranting of an Engineer

Apparently Google has released their Google Social Graph API. I’m not entirely sure how it differs from previous social API’s but the concept and the timeliness of if are what is interesting. I”m still a little fuzzy about the implementation details, apparently you embed some code on your own domain so that other sites can find information about you. This means that Facebook and Twitter and Amazon all need to implement Google’s API right? Sounds good for fast action web 2.0 companies but sluggish old-fashioned sites (looking at you Facebook and Myspace) might never implement this.

Much of the API feels like OpenID in that you own links, not Google. The author recognizes the power of API’s, allowing people to do things the creator didn’t expect. Would it be possible to make a decentralized social networking site? I could see something like this taking off amongst leading bloggers as an alternative to current solutions.

After looking further it looks like the primary purpose of this API is to let Google index it. Simply by putting information on your site specifying who your friends are, Google can index this.

It appears there is some dissenting noise on this and the lack of privacy that it provides. The author seems to think that the API gives users enough control over their privacy, but I’d have to dig into how it actually works before I formed my own opinion. It’s very interesting at the very least. But as it requires someone to throw up their XFN or FOAF text on their site and who but technologically adept bloggers will know how or bother with this?

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