There were some nice presentations on the open, social web delivered at Google I/O 2010 in May. My favorite was Chris Messina’s presentation titled The Open and Social Web, which can be viewed below:
After viewing the above video, I came across the following video from Google I/O 2008 titled OpenSocial: A Standard for the Social Web:
It presents a nice overview of what OpenSocial is all about (or was all about at its birth in 2008), and the motivation behind its development.
As Chris Messina discusses in his Google I/O 2010 presentation, Google’s work on open social standards extends beyond just OpenSocial standards – including OpenID, OAuth, WebFinger and Salmon, but the principle of the thing – open social web standards – is the same.
This talk by Kevin Marks from Lift ’08 is over two years old now, but I really like the story of how the “younger generation” views the Web (or the Cloud) – it’s just there, it’s like oxygen:
As I dig deeper into the technologies of the open, social web it’s nice to be reminded that the whole point of these technologies is in many ways to make the infrastructure invisible.
This is the fourth in a series of posts on key dimensions of Hyperlocal. Other posts in this series are:
- HyperLocal – a Framework
- Hyperlocal – Core Dimensions (Part 1)
- Hyperlocal – Core Dimensions (Part 2)
In this post we consider key enabling technologies that many of the hyperlocal platforms mentioned in previous posts will leverage.
Key Enabling Technologies
The initial post in this series identified the following key enabling technologies for Hyperlocal solutions:
- Identity and Personalization
- Social Media/Social Web
- Real-time Web
- Machine Learning
- Structured Data/Semantic Web
Let’s explore each in turn.
*** Update January 5 2010 ***
It looks like ReadWriteWeb concurs with my identifiation of key enabling technologies for emerging web-based applications. See ReadWriteWeb’s Top 5 Web Trends of 2009. I think leaving out Geolocation is a fairly important omission on RWW’s part. I didn’t make reference to the Internet of Things in my list, but have referred to Web Meets World (another name for the same thing), and its impact on HyperLocal, in previous posts.
*** End of Update ***
Identity and Personalization
Identity is a key part of any online platform these days. Not only does Identity represent one’s online presence, but it’s the basis for relating to other in the context of one’s social graph.
Chris Messina has some great insights into the emergence of Identity as a platform – here’s video of his Identity is the Platform presentation from October 2009, and the slideshow accompanying his talk.
The two key players positioned to dominate the Identity Platform space are:
Identity forms the foundation by which to deliver and manage personalized content for a user. I’m not going to discuss Personalization strategies in detail here, but ReadWriteWeb has an excellent piece on the topic.
Social Media and Social Web
I’m not sure too much needs to be said here. Obviously, Social Media and Social Networks, or what’s often referred to as the Social Graph, is a key feature of the Web today. If you’re going to host and service a Community on your website, you won’t get very far if you don’t design your website for the social web.
Interestingly, the Identity Platforms mentioned in the previous section – OpenID and Facebook Connect – allows you to import the Social Graph from external platforms into your Community site. Alternatively, you may also want to promote your content on other sites on the Social Web – including Twitter and Facebook.
Another important concept to be aware of in the context of the Web and HyperLocal is that of the Social Object. The Social Object is any piece of Content or information that a community might potentially socialize around. So for example, Twitter posts, news articles, photos, business listings, videos, URLs, movies … all are potential social objects that a community might share and discuss.
Social Media is any form of publishing that facilitaties social collaboration and sharing of information, content, and conversation. Social Networking sites, Blogs, Wikis, Microblogging platforms etc. all fall under this category.
The following are just a few of the more popular platforms on the social web:
It’s important on your website to enable key forms of social behavior, including sharing and bookmarking content, commenting, rating and reviewing, and so on. These are features that any social website should support, and the key community platform players, such as Jive, Pluck, and Lithium all support.
With the viral adoption of Twitter, the real-time web has really taken off of late. To understand the state of the Real-time Web heading into 2010, see the following:
- For an excellent overview of the real-time Web, please see RWW’s Top 5 Web Trends of 2009: The Real-Time Web, from September 2009.
- For a series of fabulous videos from TechCrunch’s recent Real-time Web CrunchUp event in November 2009 in San Fran, please see Real-time Web – CrunchUp Event in November.
- Any finally, here’s Mashup’s view of in the real-time Web heading into 2010: 5 Big Real-Time Web Trends of 2009
The Real-time Web can be viewed from a number of different angles. Three are:
This is the core of the Real-time Web – the underlying real-time feed protocol. Please see:
- Rest in Peace, RSS – TechCruch, May 2009
- PubSubHubbub: Real-Time Feeds and Real-Time Feedback Too? – louisgray.com, July 2009
- Twitter to Open Firehose to Developers – Mashable, December 2009
- You say you want a revolution – Steve Gilmore, December 2009
- RSSCloud Vs. PubSubHubbub: Why The Fat Pings Win – TechCrunch, September 2009
- Twitter Search, Google launches Real-time Search – Mashable, December 2009
- Real-time Search-off – TechCrunch, May 2009
Real-time Geo, or Geo-streams
- Twitter API Adds Location Data – Tweets Get Realtime Geo – ProgrammableWeb, August 2009
For more on real-time geo and geolocation trends, see the Geolocation section that follows.
Managing the Real-time Firehose of Information
With the Real-time Web, information bursts furth as a massive stream – or firehose – of information, which is then filtered or consumed according to one’s particular social filters and interests. It can be overwhelming at first, as Nova Spivak discusses here.
… This post is a work-in-progress. Please return later to view the completed post.
A provocative post from Steve Rubel from September 30, 2009 titled The Next Great Media Company won’t have a Website.
Lately I have noticed that many of the people, blogs, news services and more that I want to track are right inside Facebook. I have even filed them under a list called “feeds.”
This is very convient since their updates are integrated right into my stream right beside the people that I follow – friends, family, coworkers, etc.
This has tremendous potential. Conceivably the next great media company will be all spokes and no hub. It will exist as a constellation of connected apps and widgets that live inside other sites and offer a full experience plus access to your social graph and robust community features. Each of these may interconnect too so that a media company’s community on Facebook can talk to the same on Twitter.
Rubel notes that the New England Patriots have recently established a major presence on Facebook, and the new Fan zone already has over 120,000 followers.
A very nice presentation given by Chris Messina on October 1 2009 in Tampere, Finland. I have fond memories of Tampere having spent a summer working in Finland in 1986.
Here’s the video:
And here’s a link to the presentation slides.
Messina’s presentation is about the importance of Identity and it’s related “social context” on the Social Web. He discusses a number of Social Media sights that disappeared, where the members of these newly-defunct sites were unable to extract their social context (or social residue as Messina calls it) from these sites. Particularly important is the scenarios where members of an online community were unable to extract the social networks they had developed at these sites.
It’s Messina’s view that while the mid-to-late 2000’s saw the Browser Wars – specifically between Windows Explorer and Firefox – as a key platform battle, the emerging Platform battle is the Identity Platform War. And the leading contenders at this stage are FacebookConnect and OpenID.
A nice presentation overall.
Some interesting thoughts from Chris Messina on what would have happened had Adobe launched Google Wave, and how we’ve come to expect Big Thinking and Big Ideas from Google – what Messina refers to as “BHAG”s, or Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
To quote Messina,
Google’s products are inspirational because they enable us to imagine — and achieve — a different and perhaps freer tomorrow.
If Adobe had launched Wave — the identical product that Google launched — I don’t think that anyone would take them seriously. As Scott Koon pointed out, Adobe is a toolmaker — they’re not known for big ideas that confront a basic human problem — least of all one related to information on the open web.