Resource’s Love Triangle = Google Friend Connect
Sign-in (OpenId) = consumer
Friends (OAuth) = community
Apps (OpenSocial) = brands
The consumer and the community exist, and there is some infrastructure available to support what they wish to accomplish. OpenId and OAuth are examples of how we are aware of user needs for data portability as well as for privacy. Once we’ve hammered out the details of what that means (and I believe we’re getting closer every day), where will the real fun take place? Or rather, where will the serious relationship-building take place? With all the applications that will be available.
Widgets were all the rage last year. They were sometimes silly (A study by Flowing Data reported that “just for fun” facebook apps were far more popular than anything of any utility), but they were a simple way to engage with people. An oft-cited example is the purina pet weather widget, an incredibly popular branded widget. Facebook applications give companies an opportunity to provide a game or simple feature for users in exchange for what is a glorified ad on their profile (as long as there is a benefit to the user).
I know Google didn’t structure their approach to social off the OPEN Brand, but it struck me how it all seems to fit together. Ever heard the saying “great minds think alike”?