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OpenSocial Advertising for All!

[qi:010] MySpace has signed on to OpenSocial, bringing to its 100-plus million users the wonders of mini social applications à la Facebook F8. MySpace (NWS) already announced plans to open their platforms to third-party developers, but the Google (GOOG) connection comes as a bit of a surprise.

Social media standards pioneer Dave Winer says, “Google has a long way to go to build the base of users and developers connected using the new protocols that is the subject of all this chest-thumping” and calls it a tech PR war. That it is, though it could have far-reaching effects on the web. Most tech standards efforts come to nothing, but if Google is successful in getting many big and little social nets speaking one language internally, it may not be too long before they start discussing amongst themselves, too.

That’s both happy and sad for the users, who may finally get their longed-for universal online social graph at the same time they open themselves up to constant and intrusive socially-based advertising.

15 Responses to “OpenSocial Advertising for All!”

  1. Anne,

    Glad to see more critique on how intrusive and plain creepy social advertising will be, Facesoft is watching you! It’s going to be like having the mail man give you a summary of your opened mail before he hands it to you!

    When did we expect everything for free? Where is the ad free model for a nominal subscription of say $1 per week? If it’s service we value, we should at least be granted the option of not having our social stream read and interpreted by crawlers.

    Widgets have so much more potential, I use the term ‘appvertising’ and talk of branded applications that provide value and service rather than launch flash ads that no one wants – brands should be seeing what they can do for the consumer not what they can shout at them about.

  2. An insistence that any amount and type of advertising is good is equally naive as saying that all advertising is bad. Advertising can be intrusive and abusive even. The dangers of losing privacy in an era of social advertising might not be felt until it’s too late.

    Like Alexander, I’d like to see models besides advertising, ones that create enough value for users that they are willing to pay directly. That’s not feasible or desirable for every situation or even most situations, but for certain services online it would be.

    @Joseph: yes, the hype is a bit much. I hope also that the openness will continue.

  3. Alexander van Elsas

    @Don and @Anne, I would like to see some investors and entrepreneurs do some lateral thinking and get out of this web 2.0 advertisement trap. There is no value in it for the user. It has become the easy web 2.0 money/value maker. Providing free (ad based) services. But in the end it sucks as a business model because it is fuelled from the wrong side (not the user). And it is the main reason why most of these social networking sites are walled in the first place. If the business model changes to user value instead of network value we wouldn’t need walled gardens and OpenSocial would have been implemented long ago.

  4. Funny thing, someone has to pay for social networking services – so the usual sadness that advertising or some other way of monetizing a service is naive. Last time I checked, venture capital firms weren’t in the charity business for all the social networking companies they’ve been funding.

  5. Anne,

    Hope Opensocial keeps the openness going forward (due to Myspace involvement).

    In another 6 months, social network fever will go down – and it will be assumed to be a platform enabler much like TCP/IP or HTML.