FriendsListPortability

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Presented by jsmarr

  • oauth, microformats, openid
  • privacy issues... portioning friends connections
  • the problem: too hard to stay on top of what the people i know are doing online
    • siloed data, social apps don't know who i know automatically, little control over who i can share data with, have to recreate friends on every site with social features
    • "massively underdeployed social graphs"
    • if friction is too high for super geeks, imagine the friction for regular folks! there's no flow...
    • we lack a technical and user control model to make this happen
  • the fallout: missing content from friends... (what about the overload?)... social apps desperate to get even PART of your social graph (re-implementing gmail scrapers, building facebook-only apps)... sometimes i'm too easy to find... especially by email address! (yikes!).... sometimes i'm too hard to find on sites (can't look up friends by other attributes besides email)
  • the vision: "facebook-like" platform for the Open Web.
    • friends list == people you know from any of the sites you use
    • user ids == email/urls or other identifiers by which you know people
    • social apps == running anywhere with the same richness (apps running in iDPs?)
  • activity streams and profile badges exist in other social networks
  • managing relationships across sites... fine grained control?
    • try new services, meet someone new, social app developers outsource "who you know"
    • allows for niche site development... hard to sustain without portable social graph
  • the building blocks
    • who am i? openid, rel-me
      • identifiers: mailto link, url, account url, IM link, xri
      • role: managing my set of identifiers (which identifiers to reveal to whom?; which identifiers can i be found at per app?)
    • who are my friends? XFN, FOAF
      • friends list == set of identifiers that I know; need portable list of these identifiers, often via authorized requests
    • who do I know? gating with OAuth, 6A RUS
    • how can i use my data? opensocial, foaf, xfn, vcard
      • proposal: social sites should provide a persistent url to your friends list; url can contain OAuth token for private data... lists all identifiers you know... allows export via raw identifiers or hashed identifiers (what about writing to the list)
      • allow sites to match known identifiers against the "people i know"
      • find all people i already know on new site
      • add new site as a source of friends list data (be able to subscribe to friends list so when new people sign up, you'll be notified)
  • clarity on roles and responsibilities
    • user: manage your identifiers
    • social apps: provide access to shareable friends list, let users control how they're findable, provide lookup for findable identifiers
    • shouldn't leak any new information in this approach (i.e. foaf)
    • built on existing tech: openid, oauth, xfn, microid, URIs
    • bridges lookup by email address vs URL --> transitioning
  • room for everyone to win
    • social networks become more relevant as they extend their reach
    • social apps are easier to build -- outsourcing the social graph (better friends list == more compelling app)
    • users can find each other better, more efficiently share content
  • next steps
    • clarify/propose basic steps for interop
    • get early adopters to implement it
    • watch for early results (usage, privacy)

Demo of Online Identity Consolidator



  • what's the business model? what's the economic incentive?