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sábado, junho 14, 2008

The fight to be the aggregator of your social data


A new generation of social networking sites is gaining support in Silicon Valley, challenging the established models of leaders MySpace and Facebook.

FriendFeed, a service founded by the creators of Google Maps and Gmail, is at the head of an anarchic counter movement of “lifestreaming”, where users themselves aggregate and order their online social activities from multiple sources.


But he warns that the established larger players will not give ground easily.

“Facebook, MySpace and Google are all fighting to be the aggregator of your social data. Being that social data backbone gives the ability to monetise. I think this is going to be a big battle and in many ways it’s the battle for the future of the web.”


Mr Buchheit admits FriendFeed’s strategy has similarities to Google’s mission to organise all of the world’s information.

”We’re looking to use social mechanisms to help organise information and to bring [attention to] new things that are interesting,” he says.

FriendFeed works by pulling in and aggregating all of a user’s online social networking activity into a feed or list of events from as many as 35 services.

Examples would be an SMS-style text ”tweet” from Twitter, a photo uploaded to the Flickr sharing service or a blog note posted.

This ”newsfeed” was first popularised by Facebook but FriendFeed also adds the ability to comment next to anything posted, touching off lively discussions.

The service has been criticised as being hard to master for mainstream users and Mr Buchheit admits it is still in its early stages of development.


Financial Times


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