Plaxo helps open up social graph
As part of its ongoing support for the open social web as an alternative to walled gardens, Plaxo released to open source the code for an important new piece of software, an Online Identity Consolidator. The new software contributes to the community effort to create a public, user-controlled â€œsocial graph,â€ by leveraging the linkages people are publicly-asserting between the various social web applications they use, such as blogs, social and business networks, and photo/video sharing sites. In addition to releasing the Consolidator code, the company added features based on the technology to its recently-launched next-generation social network, Pulse, and published a Consolidator implementation site for developers.
A debate has been heating up within the Web 2.0 community over whether the future of the social web will be defined by openness, with users in control of their data, or by walled gardens, in which corporations assert ownership of their usersâ€™ personal information and relationships. The call for a user-controlled approach to consolidation of online identities gained momentum with the recent publication of a manifesto by Brad Fitzpatrick (in collaboration with David Recordon), entitled â€œThoughts on the Social Graph.â€
Todayâ€™s announcement is part of a broader strategy in support of the open social web, and follows recent moves by Plaxo to implement and endorse important open standards, including: SyncML, iCal, OpenID, and microformats.