An Open Facebook API vs Google OpenSocial

Probably about 5 months ago I had a conversation with someone at Facebook about licensing their API.

The beauty of Facebook, as opposed to Myspace and other social networks is that the people on there are for the most part who they say they are, and Facebook does their best to dismiss those who aren’t. This simple differentiation makes the membership base of Facebook far more valuable than any other social network.

When you go to my Facebook profile, you get the real me. Thats not to say I answer every profile question. I don’t. I’m not going to disclose everything about myself. However, the data that is available about me is the most comprehensive, self maintained database record about me on the internet or probably anywhere. Access to that information times the however many tens of millions of Facebook active users is worth a lot of money.

So with this in mind, I talked to one of their VCs that I know, who referred me to someone at Facebook and we had a great conversation. I asked about licensing the API for use outside the Facebook.com domain. They were definitely open to it. All I needed to do was put together a proposal for what I wanted to do with it. Despite the thousands of ideas I have about how the most comprehensive database of self maintained user information could be used, I just didnt have the piss and vinegar in me to attack this problem with the amount of energy it would take.

So I called a buddy at Yahoo and suggested that they license the Facebook API. I happen to think that far better search and ad serving solutions can be developed around a combination of user published information and user activity It just seems to me that if Facebook were to give me an option of publishing a laundry list of relevant information about myself to external Facebook API applications, such as search and ad serving networks that those applications would serve me better results.

Think “What is my search mood today: Information, entertainment, purchasing, bored…” as a precursor to an actual search. The options that would enable smarter use of the web are endless. Not everyone would avail themselves of what I call Personal Database Publishing to enhance the internet experience, but I believe enough would.

Of course any application can currently ask for this information and many do. But I dont want to have to publish and maintain a database for every application I want to use or happen to use. Nor do I want to have to maintain multiple social network accounts to make this information available. I recognize that this is the exact problem that Google wants to solve with their OpenSocial. But they are too late … If Facebook opens their API up further and allows for its use outside the Facebook.com domain.

So back to Yahoo and the Facebook API. I thought that if you put the 2 together, enabling Yahoo to access the Facebook database of users within the current API constraints, Yahoo search and ad serving would improve considerably. Expand the Facebook database with an opt in option to add further personal data that could be used FROM WITHIN THE YAHOO WEBSITE, the results for Yahoo could be extraordinary. A Yahoo searchbox within Facebook , or a search from a Yahoo site that recognizes you are the owner of a Facebook profile and customizes the results according to information culled from your profile would be incredibly powerful

I don’t know if anything can or would come of my little referral. Maybe now with MicroSoft buying into Facebook, they can get a free crack at the Facebook API and Facebook profile owners who also use MicroSoft Live can get better search and ad results. Who knows.

What I do know is this. As long as Facebook keeps expanding the power of my profile, there is no reason for me or anyone else to create another profile anywhere else, including any of the Google OpenSocial alliance members. If all the value of my Facebook profile remains stopped at the edge of the facebook domain, I might have to give Google OpenSocial a try.

42 thoughts on “An Open Facebook API vs Google OpenSocial

  1. I really like how facebook does everything in their power to prevent \”fake\” people from joining. MySpace – for example – wen\’t down because of all these problems. Facebook is doing the right thing.

    Comment by Articles -

  2. Google is making big moves with OpenSocial, Android ( http://www.androidapps.org ), and bidding on the wireless spectrum. Should be interesting if they could succeed in all these other areas the way they did with search.

    Comment by Max -

  3. Ya it would be better if adds were tailored to the people viewing. It would be better for everybody. The consumer gets the products they are interested in the sales man makes more sales.

    Comment by hemp necklace -

  4. Everything in all the self-publishing spaces and social networks is pretty template-based and predictable. We should be trying harder to create new interactive formats to express our creativity and ideas. Everything\’s starting to look the same. Right?

    Comment by Grant Lyons -

  5. I need free tickets to a mavs future game for my husband and I please. We are great fans and would love to come and see a game. Thanks. Just in case you are wondering who this crazy person is that would not adhere to the simple instruction of keeping comments relevant to this blog entry,m well, I am just an ordinary fan whose never won anything before and would be greatly honored to do so. \”is this a contest?\” you may ask, so its not but what the hell, I gave it a try, lol. Speaking of face book, this me and my lil\’ family on face book http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=38894&l=fcf38&id=805160423
    So see, I did stick to the comment at hand after all. Hope I get those tickets😉

    Comment by Clara -

  6. I think Facebook is trying to figure out if there is a way to have OpenSocial\’s functionality without giving away all of its information. This seems like what Netlog is also doing by keeping OpenSocial at arm\’s length. LinkedIn seems to have figured out a way to do this (or thinks it has). If LinkedIn really has figured out a way to do this then it is clearly a model Facebook may want to follow.

    Netlog story: http://mashable.com/2007/11/06/netlog-opensocial-api-developer-platform/

    Comment by Con von Hoffman -

  7. \”So I called a buddy at Yahoo and suggested that they license the Facebook API\” Sound like a great idea to me…

    Buy Adult XXX Porn DVD\’s

    Comment by Jay Dee -

  8. It\’s funny. Everybody said MySpace was a success because it allowed self expression and fake profile were Friendster did not. Now, everybody says the Facebook is killing MySpace for the opposite reason….
    There is no truth around this.
    Facebook was addictive because well conceived and not too much \”in your face\” as some MySpace can appear.

    Comment by Pascal -

  9. I am a Facebook user and developer. I have created my Business Page. I think they have made a mistake with their ad model. They should have adopted your idea or morphed it a bit. As a user, where\’s my cut for recommending Blockbuster and risking \”friendships?\”

    Comment by Henry Davis -

  10. Mark – a few things on this:

    First, I think the only thing that matters when it comes to search results is this: purchasing vs. non-purchasing mood. CPC would be higher for those who are in purchasing mood. But, what does that really mean? How do you know for sure when you are in a purchasing mood? In our society moods change faster than anything. From a technical standpoint, it\’s a good idea and certainly doable but one must look at the psychological side of it too. A better way to do it would be to collect data over a period of time along with mood data and see what mood corresponds to higher conversion rates.

    If it was me, I would test the inclusion of a small textbox under the search bar. It would say something that means \”Check this box if you are looking for a product or service to buy\”. If you check it, you get the sponsor ads. If you don\’t, you get no ads, just organic results. It will lower the number of impressions for your ad but I bet it\’ll increase your conversion rate. Why not ask the consumer what he wants to do instead of guessing their mood or extracting their mood from their personal profile in which other than letting his friends know how he feels that day he has no idea we\’re using it to achieve higher ctr\’s.

    Regards,
    Mehmet

    PS: One of my good friend\’s father recently got diagnosed with cancer so he put that info in his status update on fb. How do you think he would feel if all of a sudden he got bombarded with ads about cancer remedies, alternative medicine, etc?

    Comment by Mehmet -

  11. I have switched to Yahoo and Live as well. Google\’s performance has not been stelar as of lately

    Comment by fel3232 -

  12. This is very interesting. It\’s amazing to see things evolving. As I make my money online I\’m trying to stay open to change and in fact right now I\’m trying to do a lot of changes… But anyway – this is a great peek into this. I agree with what you\’ve said about Facebook – MySpace is so filled with garbage that I find it irritating… But at the same time MySpace has some elements (the music element most importantly to me) that Facebook doesn\’t so I like to have both.

    Comment by Weird Biz -

  13. The value in Facebook is in it\’s platform and not in the data that it holds. As clearly Google understands, \”do as they do and not as they say\”.

    The next phase has begun. When thin clients get cheaper and cheaper then electronic people tracking, advertising, and online applications will proliferate.

    Who will win? Google? Maybe it\’ll be Microsoft if they swallow Yahoo? They\’d need to dump Balmer, who\’s accustomed to deflect or destroy, and get someone like Jobs, someone who\’s more inclined to innovate.

    Comment by www.freeway2000.com -

  14. Mark,

    Very smart, and companies like Acxiom often use self-reported data in their data aggregation models. They often compare this data against other sources for validity.

    Two concerns. One is unfounded and misguided, the other very founded, and both are very real:

    UNFOUNDED and MISGUIDED: Regulation. Privacy wonks in the government would likely quash this if it were added to additional \’offline\’ data sources… which is what is needed to make it really powerful data. Yet the government is so misguided, because most people want marketers to target messages better. People never complain about the signal, just the tons of noise. If a marketer gets to people fewer, better offers, they love it… they would doubly love it if a marketer gave them something for the initial access to the data… just a recognition of its value. You see this every day at your favorite lunch time spot: \”drop in your business card and win a free lunch.\”

    What is ironic about the privacy advocates is that they turn to the government for protection, and yet the government is the worst place to look.

    Here is the perfect truth: Marketers build databases to sell you more stuff you want to buy, to the benefit of the marketer and the consumer. Governments build databases for one purpose only: enforcement action.

    Need proof? In 1992, as a starving college student, I made $8,000 that year. Did I get a note from the government saying \’hey H.J., you made so little money, here are all the benefits you are eligible for. Just come down to the office.\’ Ah, no, I didn\’t.

    Now that I am successful, if I am literally five minutes late with my tax return, they will impose substantial penalties on me. If I am six months late, they\’ll be siezing bank accounts. See my point?

    FOUNDED CONCERN: The real concern with Facebook is the data integrity being compromised by fraudsters… this is especially true with Facebook. I read recently in Forbes that Lending Club, the peer-to-peer lending company, had built a software \’widget\’ to shuttle money around Facebook from lender to borrower and back again. As of publication, the default rates are 1% (not clear of total loans or total dollars, but I am guessing loans because that would be the less of the two most likely).

    The point is, this whole Lending Club/ Facebook thing is setting itself up to be a hotbed for internet fraud. That means the data held within will likely be compromised.

    One possible solution: extract all deadbeat borrowers from any marketing database aggregation. But even then, fraudsters might set up lender and borrower and make successful transactions just to see if that will yield better opportunities.

    So therein is the quandry: use the data by itself, it could be risk-laden. Validate it with other sources, and the Feds come knocking.

    Whatever you decide, good luck with this.

    H.J.
    http://www.hjmann.com

    Comment by HJ Mann -

  15. \”What I do know is this. As long as Facebook keeps expanding the power of my profile, there is no reason for me or anyone else to create another profile anywhere else, including any of the Google OpenSocial alliance members. If all the value of my Facebook profile remains stopped at the edge of the facebook domain, I might have to give Google OpenSocial a try.\”
    Mark, you are not the average Facebook user. The average Facebook user is a college student. They do not care about maximized relevant searches. They care that all their friends are all on Facebook. You, internet tycoon and tech wizard, may appreciate the power of a search engine knowing which movies you like or your favorite quotes etc, but the average college student does not.
    However, none of this negates the tremendous value the Facebook API would be to a company like Yahoo!. But from the perspective of value added to the user, Facebook does not need to worry about hordes of college kids leaving it for OpenSocial.

    Comment by Alan -

  16. Google maps and map ads are the most important thing going on right now. The rest is noise.

    Comment by Peter -

  17. I work for a public college. I never really knew much about Facebook until I went to work at a university. The student workers in my department stay on Facbook when they can and all say it is a big part of their social life. It is a huge college and they have so many groups you can join. I have never trusted the internet for social but I think it is probally okay for college kids and some groups. I think that you still may have problems with people like they have had on other sites.

    Comment by Laura -

  18. nice take Marc, have you seen Tim O\’reilly\’s comments (http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/11/facebook_google_opensocial_mark_cuban.html) on this.. interesting! Given opensocial and now today Google leading the open handset alliance things are getting relaly interesting – cheers, Glenn (http://gisuser.blogspot.com)

    Comment by Glenn Letham -

  19. Mark,
    I love sports as much as you. I\’m really close to this whole social thing as well. I was at the launch of f8 have read every post in between, have apps on the platform, already have guys working the the new hooks for orkut ( i refuse to call it anything else) can sit on any panel and do a decent job of debating either side. Is that what we do ? Is this a sport that we follow with another game on tv in the background. is techcrunch espn3 for us. is facebook the west and myspace the east? and sergey the commissioner.. maybe ballmer put 240 in like buying a star box .. this one is weirder than 99.. they should of had markz call you about how fun it is to take a couple of bill off the table and do another one or 20 instead of sitting in depositions all day and bankers and mckinsey, and China and al the non start up hell .. oh g-d we should have locked him up and made him sing bim bam bim biddy bam and remeber what lifes about.. i sent you a fb message titled dave xxxxx mutual friend.. its a good read

    Comment by ZWEmail -

  20. Mark,

    I think that facebook does have the opportunity to be the goto location for profile information if they act on it quickly by allowing the profile data to be portable, is as much as individuals want it ported. I also believe that people will remain or become (if they are not already) members of several social networks that are specific to solving their problems or meeting their opportunities, such as customer, partner, employee and fan related communities. It is up to all vendors and social network hosts to allow the community member to easily reuse their profile information anywhere, in a private and secure way.

    mike walsh
    leverage software

    Comment by mike walsh -

  21. \”Nor do I want to have to maintain multiple social network accounts to make this information available. I recognize that this is the exact problem that Google wants to solve with their OpenSocial.\”

    Not really. That\’s not even on the table (yet), OpenSocial is not OpenID. OpenSocial only makes the apps portable, not your identity nor will it anytime soon because if it did and Facebook adopted it then many people might go to \”where the party\’s at\”. That\’s not what Google or any of its parters want.

    I think whoever has the guts to adopt OpenSocial AND OpenID will have the most users in the end (but perhaps not the most money😉 In any case the game has only begun and most people haven\’t even taken their seats yet.

    Comment by Chris -

  22. Mark, great ideas as usual. So many great ideas…so little time. Substitute Microsoft for Yahoo and it sounds like a real plan🙂

    I wrote another blog today about your idea and Tim O\’Reilly\’s idea for data portability. I like the ideas but here is a question.

    What if I am a friend of someone on MySpace. Cool, my name and picture appears on their friends list and anyone can see it. But what if this MySpace friend joins a PornSpace social network site and wants to import his friends list to that site? Now my name and picture shows up on his PornSpace page as a friend of his? Hey, wait a minute, I didn\’t agree to that. How do I control where my name and picture go once I become a friend of someone? Will there be guilt by association?

    I explore your ideas and these issues on my blog today. For more details see http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2007/11/my-friends-list.html

    Don Dodge

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  23. You should scope this article on OpenSocial.

    http://blog.deftlabs.com/2007/11/googles-opensocial-api-no-beef-yet.html

    Comment by Ryan -

  24. Mark, I think your points about Facebook are well taken, but with Facebook apparently negotiating with Google over inclusion in OpenSocial, I wonder if all this prognosticating was worth it. I also wonder if this means that Facebooks API will be changed to be compatible with OpenSocial or be replaced with OpenSocial. Hmmm . .. And I was hoping that FB would be a company willing to stand up to Google hegemony . . . for a change. In my mind, Google seems to have won, again . . .

    I would have preferred that Google transfer OpenSocial to some sort of industry-wide consortium or public development, where openness is transparent, and public licenses can be used. But instead, it looks as if Google will be the controller of OpenSocial — not very impartial are they? Of course, if a non-profit is set up to handle OpenSocial, I hope it does not go the way of the Mozilla Corporation — oops I meant Mozilla Organization . . . It looks they have been wooed by Google money, too.

    I like some of Google\’s products (maps and earth for instance), but lately Google\’s predatory, paranoid, intrusive \”I want to be the middleman in everything web-based\” behavior and secrecy gives me the creeps; I no longer use Gmail, nor Google Checkout, and I when I do use Google, I use scroogle.org to scrape Google instead of the actual site. But the latter is rare nowadays. Indeed, I think the quality of their flagship search engine is slipping, most of my searches end up yielding keyword junk. My recent searches for information on Google have yielded few or no results, so I have switched to Yahoo and Live.

    Comment by Reccless -

  25. Mark, you\’re dead on. I\’ve been thinking about this alot over the past 2 years and watching it evolve I\’m absolutely certain this will completely change the way everyone interfaces with the Web. At the core lies the social graph, and everything you do will be personalized around it. The key is to gather as much info in the profile as possible, which many of the apps on Facebook are attempting to do. I can clearly see what happens next, and its very exciting…

    Comment by Jim Kovarik -

  26. Yeah but Linked-in is not nearly as big as facebook nor do I think will it ever be.

    Comment by Estate Planning -

  27. I agree with the above comment, LinkedIn is far superior to facebook for \”real information\” or real people…it\’s strictly professional, without the nonsense on myspace and increasingly on facebook.

    Comment by Nick Colbert -

  28. \”But they are too late … If Facebook opens their API up further and allows for its use outside the Facebook.com domain.\”

    Or said another way: Google isn\’t too late.

    Your dislike of Google via the YouTube hangover is transparent.

    On a non-criticism note, I\’m surprised you like Facebook over LinkedIn. I feel LinkedIn profiles are also \”the real information\” but it doesn\’t have the annoying apps.

    Comment by Dempsey -

  29. Comment #8 made me laugh.

    Your post made me wonder how many of those 50 million FB accounts know they are opening themselves up to highly persuasive marketing, and will they still have accounts when they find out?

    Comment by Dominic -

  30. I\’d like to further add support to my previous, (my beliefs):

    \”……….Facebook will choose us (\”pulse360.com\”) with the \”Bid4Keywords\” platform on Tuesday (provided to them through Looksmart\’s AdCenter) as most ALL Major Ads Agencies will then have access to Facebook, including Yahoo, MSN (Atlas) and Google, (yes Google), through Double Click\’s \”Performics\” …… \”

    And now that \”we\” have got over the \”introductions\” let me tell you of some more exciting \”news\” that will/should involve both Facebook, the NAI and our many, many newspaper/publisher sites (in the millions), all over the world ……Think about it!!

    Check (in particular) those \”15 defined behavioral segments\” being offered. Yes, they are Vortals, (Vertical Portals) that are provided by (and no doubts) the \”Vortal Interactive\” initiative, between Looksmart and Network Solutions\’ very own, Mainstream Advertising …..

    http://www.pointcom.com/?page_id=49

    http://www1.investorvillage.com/beta/smbd.asp?mb=3240&mn=799&pt=msg&mid=2761334

    ATLANTA and NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ — The Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. (TWCI), the most popular source of weather on the Web reaching an average of 25 million unique visitors each month, and Pulse 360, the leading provider of sponsored links to the Web\’s biggest and best sites, today jointly announced an exclusive multi-year agreement resulting in the launch of Pulse 360\’s sponsored links on http://www.weather.com.

    \”weather.com\’s audience is one of the largest, most respected and highly qualified on the Web and is a great addition to our network,\” said Lance D. Podell, chief executive officer of Seevast, Pulse 360\’s parent company. \”It is clear that the Web\’s biggest and best sites require a partner with deep expertise to drive value for advertisers and publishers alike. We were thrilled to be chosen as a partner for weather.com and are confident that our advertisers will benefit from access to this world-class audience.\”

    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/10-18-2007/0004684858&EDATE=

    I do like our chance, with Facebook. But as mentioned earlier it all, just an opinion, only.

    🙂

    Comment by Ross Bradley -

  31. What do you think of niche social network sites, which can utilize some of the OpenSocial tools along with also host groups on Facebook and elsewhere to promote themselves while keeping everyone participating in multiple places?

    For example http://www.firefighternation.com is just for firefighters, and it provides a super targeted atmosphere. Thats not to say we won\’t still have a Facebook group for firefighters, share widgets back and forth, etc.

    There are still reasons for people to have multiple profiles if some of those profiles are in highly targeted niches. There are values to having profiles on multiple platforms only when the sense of belonging and availability in desired connections resides in those multiple platforms.

    That being said, I think LinkedIn and MySpace are in danger as the number of niche networks increases (ala platforms like Ning) and Facebook continues to expand its offerings.

    Dave Iannone

    Comment by Dave Iannone -

  32. Your right on track with your \”why would they go anywhere else\” comment. That seems to be the major deciding factor in the success or failure of online communities. I look at the opportunity that the association of realtors have in creating an online community of agents, home sellers, and home buyers and I laugh because they are not taking advantage of that opportunity and I know that someone else will.

    Comment by Real Estate Contract -

  33. I agree that the value of Facebook (or any social network) is the trust we can place on identities. For this reason, I rate LinkedIn the highest. Facebook is next.

    But I do think that OpenSocial API has galvanized the non-FB community and will pose a significant competitive pressure on FB. Which may be a good thing for everyone involved.

    Remember that it is always hard to imagine what value added features will evolve as a result of this API. Just as, it was hard to imagine all the neat things that FB platform has enabled.

    Interesting times. Chinese curse. You get the idea.

    Comment by Anshu Sharma -

  34. While I agree that Facebook is currently more valuable NOW because of its users actually being real people, just as with anything, there are ways to game the system. There\’s no reason why new social networks won\’t take cues from Facebook and be as or more strict about making sure that people who register are real.

    Also, I worry a little about Facebook\’s direction. While it claims to be a social utility, and utilities are supposed to make things easier/better, it\’s debatable how much value the average user is getting from all these widgets and apps that individuals and companies are spending lots of money developing. The beauty of Facebook used to be that it was so simple and free of clutter, but it\’s becoming more crowded, just like MySpace has become.

    Just as OpenSocial is only known to the \”geeks\” now, remember that Facebook was actually pretty geeky when it started, too. All this is definitely interesting to watch.

    Comment by Jason Peck -

  35. Dear Mr. Cuban,

    For some reason MY blog is getting an inordinate amount of hits via the search terms \”mark cuban shirtless.\” Why is that? Frankly I find it more than a little scary…

    Comment by Stella -

  36. Yeah – I think they should Mark. Still I would not waste investment dollars into an open API scenario that was not iron clad. And I mean IRON CLAD. Know what I mean???

    Check out my blog.

    Comment by Jim Dorey -

  37. Mark I don\’t follow why you think Open Social is \”too late\”. Facebook only has 50 million people. Within a few years there will be billions of people with social profiles and even if Facebook opens up (as they must), a lot will choose to enter this from other social networks or websites that have \”socialized\” via the Open Social.

    I don\’t see why Facebook should get all the social glory – they weren\’t first to the table and they are by no means the
    last viable way to socially empower yourself online.

    Dude…I just think you are lazy and don\’t want to set up all those friends again for next year\’s Dancing with the Stars.

    Comment by Joe Hunkins | Joe Duck -

  38. Hey, I\’m \”pulse360.com\” – And, I\’m another interesting Site ………. And only a small part of what is a huge \”Global Ads initiative\”, that will do enormous \”harm\” to Google, following Tuesday\’s Facebook announcement ….But I\’m only an opinion, of course!

    And if you check my Privacy Policy, you can read about your opt-out \”option\” for \”cookies\”, that we provide:

    \”To opt-out of other behavior targeting programs not associated with Pulse 360, [click here] for the National Advertising Initiative (NAI) opt-out tool.\”

    http://www.pulse360.com/privacy.html

    And the Link (that\’s the [click here]…that\’s provided in the above statement), is as follows:

    http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp

    Oh, and I must advise that all fellow members of the NAI have \”access\” to (yes, are compatible with) Looksmart\’s AdCenter (along with the \”bid4KeyWords\” alternative to Google\’s Adsense) and in addition, ALL members of the NAI allow publishers and advertisers, to \”fully control their campaigns in all facets including their daily spend\” ….

    And the news is, that \”Quigo\” have just joined our growing membership (and AOL were already heavily \”involved\” with the NAI, through it\’s \”advertising.com\” and \”Tacoda\”)

    Facebook will choose us with the \”Bid4Keywords\” platform (provided through Looksmart\’s AdCenter) on Tuesday as most ALL Major Ads Agencies will then have access to Facebook, including Yahoo, MSN (Atlas) and Google, (yes Google), through Double Click\’s \”Performics\” ……

    < For more information about our [\"Bid4Keywords\"] third-party advertisers, including how to \"opt out\" of their targeting programs, please visit their sites: Omniture (207.net), Doubleclick, Commission Junction and Performics.>

    http://vortal.0086124.com/privacy.html

    \”…Facebook will choose ……the \”Bid4Keywords\” platform ….\”

    Well …..They\’d be foolish not to, wouldn\’t they? After-all, they have been found to have been testing Ads through \”ME\” (pulse360.com) of late, now haven\’t they?

    Yes ….It should be a GREAT week for Looksmart\’s shareholders …Finally!!!!!

    🙂

    Comment by Ross Bradley -

  39. \”The beauty of Facebook, as opposed to Myspace and other social networks is that the people on there are for the most part who they say they are, and Facebook does their best to dismiss those who aren\’t. This simple differentiation makes the membership base of Facebook far more valuable than any other social network.\”

    The real power of the internet can\’t be realized until it can actually be TRUSTED.

    Anonymous email accounts, phony names, spame, phishing and the rest are all a result of technologies problems with keeping up with what their used for. Imagine what would happen if the telephone system allowed callers to impersonate your friends or your bank or some other business. That\’s exactly what SMTP (email) does.

    As someone who\’s working on the problems that come with changing current technologies (Sendside), I find it more motivating to look at the problem on a larger level. Trust is missing from the net. Trust is what\’s important to all interactions, business and personal. Trust will be the next wave and it will have to be a walled garden. We\’ve already see what happens with open systems.

    Comment by Jeff Barson -

  40. I really like how facebook does everything in their power to prevent \”fake\” people from joining. MySpace – for example – wen\’t down because of all these problems. Facebook is doing the right thing.

    Comment by DJ Rozz -

  41. Mark,
    You are so very right about facebook and the value of my profile data. I am who I say I am. My connections are primarily with people I know in the real world. It is the point of gravity that connects all of us. The value of the network increases as more of my friends join facebook. No reason to leave.

    Since facebook hass all of this data that I have willingly given them does allow them to do some very compelling ad serving that is much more customized. I look forward to seeing what they anojunce tuesday. I suspect that in the near future we will see some interesting new ad types and ways of automatically having my experience tailered to my preferences (behaviors).

    You are spot on as to why OpenSocial is not really a threat. It is worthy to note that OpenSocial is under the hood and not a destination site so only us geeks know anything about it. Consumers could care less.

    Cheers!

    Rodney Rumford
    Editor: FaceReviews.com

    Comment by Rodney Rumford -

  42. Mark:

    Since what you really like about Facebook is that people are for the most part who they say they are, please check out my proposal for the Private Identity Network found at replacegoogle.com.

    Doc Searls, one of the leaders in the Internet identity movement, left a comment there that it is \”a great idea\” and he featured it in several blog posts.

    Maybe this idea will interest you enough that you will want to get involved in something that could revolutionize the Internet.

    Comment by Trey Tomeny -

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