OpenSocial: Reality Sets In

A little over a month ago OpenSocial was hailed as “checkmate” and mesmerized the blogosphere.  Now, the chorus of Kumbaya has been replaced by the cacophony of competition.  As I argued earlier, OpenSocial was a game plan we’ve seen before, just not a particularly successful one.  It transpires that:

  • The OpenSocial spec remains incomplete and has been described as “half-baked“.
  • Erstwhile supporters are scattering to offer their own widget platforms (LinkedIn, Friendster) and even choosing to clone Facebook’s platform instead (Bebo).
  • Facebook is embracing Bebo’s cloning and offering to license their platform broadly (nice move Ami).
  • Some like LinkedIn are returning to the much more interesting problem of programmatically opening up the “social graph” as opposed to the distraction of just trying to create a least common denominator widget container.

Despite my old buddy Vic’s pioneering use of a large wooden stump in the cause of developer evangelism, OpenSocial is much closer to being checkmated than doing any checkmating itself.