Obligatory 2009 Predications

Alrighty...well its that time of year again! Some obligatory predictions for 2009:

1. Data portability (and Data Portability) will be hot topic #1...and marketers even start taking notice (and making Power Points about it)...

2. Facebook Connect becomes BUZZWORD OF THE YEAR for 2009

3. The year that Facebook Connect EATS THE INTERNET: FBC will outpace open standards and the likes of MySpaceID in terms of awareness and adoption...creating an AOL-like view of the social web through a distributed Facebook Network of sites

4. Facebook backs an ad-network into FBC and finally starts to make some money

5. Self-editorialization becomes a high priority (and Rex Sorgatz will coin an uber-awesome phrase for it that starts getting mentioned everywhere around the blogosphere) as data portability (well, FBC) creates even more visibility into our lives than we have now

6. The battle between Open vs. Closed in the Identity 2.0 (data portability) war heats up majorly

7. But open standards will continue making strides to eventually overpower Facebook's Walled Internet Garden and AOL-like attempt to BE THE INTERNET (not in 2009...but eventually)

And since we're future-telling, thought this oldie but goodie was most appropriate...enjoy the view from 2015! (note, Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson made it in 2003)


On data ubiquity

So Facebook Connect is finally making some strides with Silicon Alley Insider posting today that Gawker's new user sign-ups and comments have increased due to their Facebook Connect implementation.

Now, this has been a frequent topic of mine as of late...and lets for a minute suppose a world in which user graph data was readily accessible across any Web touch point, to the point that one's user experience became completely intuitive and socially contextual based on said graph data. Think, the Amazon model on steroids (using your actual data, not cookies or anonymized data). Awesome or creepy?


2008 Data Portability Landscape

This from the Data Portability blog by Chris Saad, a look at the data portability landscape thus in 2008...


Designing for a data portability

I'm not a designer, I only wish I was :). But recently, a question was posed to me that those who ever happen to read this blog could probably guess my answer to:

What three emerging technologies will have the greatest impact on your design practice in the next five years? What types of skills and techniques will you have to master to grow a successful design practice across multiple channels? What steps are you taking now to move in that direction?

Can you guess what my answer is? Data portability! How did you know? Ok, so I didn't actually answer the question...but here were my thoughts around at least one portion:

Data portability will be a hugely complex and major issue to tackle for designers and UX folks. With baby steps towards DP evidenced by initiatives like Facebook Connect, MySpaceID and Google Friend Connect (true, they're not true dp, but I said baby steps) allowing personal and friend data from these networks to be fed through third-party sites, and with major strides in open standards around social graph markup and the Data Portability Workgroup, we can almost taste the social context now.

What does it mean for design? The ability to incorporate actual user graph data into a digital experience means being able to provide socially contextual and relevant brand experiences— ones that leverage and integrate a user’s existing social connections and content from other sites, networks and applications into the brand experience. Persona's become antiquated, and the notion of user-specific, dynamic content takes on a whole new meaning. "Designing for the network" itself takes on a whole new rationale within this context, and will be one that comes to the forefront in the next few years. That is, of course, if data portability gains adoption from average users and not just tech geeks and overly-connected social mediaphiles...


brave new web


socially contextual


Non Facebook Connect / Non Marketing: Just Powers of Ten

In honor of Friday, not talking about Facebook Connect, and my love for all things Eames

How Will Users Feel About Facebook Connect?


So I've obviously been following Facebook Connect for a while, mostly out of my obsession with the idea of data portability and a decentralized, socially contextual Web experience (Note: FBC is NOT really data portability...its really more "data accessability"). There's been a lot of hype over FBC since it just launched a few days ago (although it was announced back in May). Now, I've been thinking about this so much from a non-user perspective, and even wrote a post for Mashable on how Facebook could build a business model around FBC. I've also been so preoccupied with the whole Open vs. Closed debate and my own optimisitic view of what true data portability could mean-- that I fear I have swung too far out from the perspective of the average user. For Web geeks the idea of dp causes near salivation, but what about the average user? What do you think about being able to access your social graph just about anywhere? Imagine, graph data (friend data) layered into your e-shopping experiences (hey, Jenny purchased this t-shirt, or Bob recommends this album), or into your search experience (Ted visited this link) or how about being able to see what music your Facebook Friends downloaded from iTunes? Would you be into it? Or is this all a little too Minority Report? Let me know what you think...

PS: For a list of sites who are currently FBC-enabled click here
Full list of launch partners is here, and yes, Vimeo is FBC-enabled too.


Part 1: Understanding What the Social Graph and Data Portability Means for Marketing

Part 2: Razorfish Imagines Hypothetical Implementations of Facebook Connect (Data Portability Lite)
A visual representation of the ideas put forth in this Mashable post

I appreciate Razorfish's insights and thought into potential uses of Facebook Connect, and hope that we see implementations such as these soon. The potential for socially contextual Web experiences have far reaching benefits for both user and brand/publisher. If nothing else, the potential for data mining would be incredible-- imagine being able to optimize your site based not on hypothetical personas, but actual ones (granted, this predicated on visibility into the graph data exchanged)?


Identity Battles: OpenID vs. Facebook Connect

[via mindmeister]

RWW has a great post on winning the identity 2.0 war: OpenID vs. Facebook Connect. And while I champion open standards and do think that eventually open will win, I think adoption of this idea of social context on every site will first come through FBC. Just as people were first comfortable surfing the Web from the comfort of the walled AOL garden, I think Facebook's familiarity will give it an edge (initially) in this battle. However, that said, I think open will win the war over time. Just as internet users discovered the big wide world of the Web beyond the boarders of AOL, so too will users become comfortable with the idea of social context outside of Facebook Connect-enabled sites. And with the DP Workgroup working diligently on creating open standards around identity and relationship markup, the idea of a decentralized, socially contextual Web experience isn't too far off:

"Open Source vs. Proprietary technology isn't just about desktop software anymore - now it's about our identities and social connections, all around the web. We've published a mind map below displaying our understanding of the contrasts between these two identity systems. If you'd like to add our thoughts to that map, you can.

This battle isn't about "single sign-on" - it's about the payload that comes with it (friend networks, personal data, maybe more), it's about the developer communities, usability and ownership. It's very important to the future of our user experience online and it's a fascinating study in contrasts."
[via RWW]


Decentralized, Distributed Social Web

Could not have said it better myself.

Data Ubiquity