Social InterNetworking

From IIW

Convener: Rohit Khare  

Notes-taker: Rohit Khare

Tags: APIs privacy terms_of_service  

Participants: Paul O, Freshbooks; Arne, Google / OpenSocial; Patrick S, Gigya; Jeff vC, Circlabs; Mary R., Microsoft; Julian, Orange Labs; Henrik; Bo M.  

Discussion notes: lists the sorts of software companies that would like to interoperate with each other; Freshbooks routinely handles requests for single-signon and import/export with other Software as a Service (SaaS) sites.


Gigya currently offers its customers the ability to integrate with multiple social networks, typically for letting visitors virally promote content they find with their friends. Customers such as ABC shouldn’t have to worry about multiple social networks as long as the intermediary (Gigya) reports back trustworthy statistics.

  Visitors of such sites largely care about just one partner network, most often; there is the question of overlap: how often do friends recur on multiple nets; and fragmentation: how many networks do friends use for a single purpose. For example, if you have all your college buddies on Facebook, that’s all you’d need; but if some were on LinkedIn as well you’d have alumni in two sets.

  Circlabs would like folks to enact “value added workflows” that span multiple people without having to ‘reinvent all of facebook or ning’

  OpenSocial provides a handy language for Viewer and Owner: when a profile box is viewed by the owner, it may have an editor; a non-friend may see less than a friend would.

  A group rolodex may be appropriate for small business crm; how to federate without copying? (Google Shared Contacts API came up)

  Many folks use the FB/G Connect services primarily to be able to push back to a visitor’s activity stream; not necc, to do more complex analysis of friends, interests, and such.

  With Connect, many partners choose to upload their entire customer database as hashed emails, solely to let the dominant partner compute which friends of a visitor are also using the site.

  JS-Kit echo() came up. Other comment syndications across multiple social networks can lead to infinite loops (copying status from A to B to A to …)  

Blending all of the UI elements of multiple networks to a lowest common denominator is a bad idea. Users rely on social and visual cues to manage their relationships. It’s a concern raised about a UI like Threadsy too

If we’re going to share information across networks, can users benefit by seeing, say, a “guest book” of which friends have clicked through their shares from all of the networks; or warn them by “previewing” how many connections will get to see this item?