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Google Misses the Mark?


In a recent article titled "Father of web 2.0 slams Google OpenSocial", Tim O'Reilly - the father of the term 'web 2.0', calls Google's Open Social API "boring" and a "full blown disappointment".

Google OpenSocial

OpenSocial provides a common set of APIs for social applications across multiple websites. Those sites include, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo,, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.

O'Reilly described the lack of data sharing as a "fundamental failure " to understand two key principles of web 2.0: open data and loosely coupled applications or services.

"If all OpenSocial does is allow developers to port their applications more easily from one social network to another, that's a big win for the developer as they get to shop their application to users of every participating social network," wrote O'Reilly.

"But it provides little incremental value to the user [who is] the real target. We do not want to have the same application on multiple social networks. We want applications that can use data from multiple social networks."

If Google had taken the OpenSocial approach with Google Maps, it would have created a service that allowed developers to create mapping applications across Microsoft, Yahoo and Google. O'Reilly summarised such a service as "boring".

Read the full article here

Post your comments! We'd love to hear what you think of Google OpenSocial, whether or not you agree with Tim O'Reilly.