The socialweb.tv talks a lot about open standards, particularly in social networks. I find their videos are always energetic and help keep me abreast on aspects of the web that I don’t get to deal with frequently.
I believe their answer to the question of “Who owns your data?” (hint: “You do!”) is a little idealistic but the message and coverage is great. It makes little sense to duplicate this data and especially in tools like flickr, twitter, opensocial, and hopefully someday even Facebook, it seems obvious. Friends are friends no matter which network they’re on and if you tell me that your twitter friends aren’t the same as your facebook friends I’d reply they could be (and argue should) assuming there are more granular levels of classifications and control.
You hear a lot about this nirvana of open security and data for social sites, especially in the context of plaxo, yahoo, google, twitter and all the other “social web” buzzcompanies…. and that’s where it seems to be constrained.
It always seems limited to discussions about why no one would never implement a microsoft security API and why google and yahoo should talk more. Or speculated with hope that Facebook and MySpace will finally accept friend requests and, fingers crossed, that twitter will link with someone, anyone, who could tell them that drunk and disorderly does not make them cool.
What strikes me most is that within all these talks, Amazon is missing. Not only are they not “a player” but people have forgotten that they’re the reining homecoming king and queen when it comes to some new buzzwords like cloud computing and webservices! Many of these friends are sites built on Amazon’s services, from S3 to EC2 even the newly announced block storage gets people excited, but they haven’t stopped to think that inviting Amazon to the party would really get it started.
Amazon’s the popular kid that’s just too popular for their own good. Everyone else thinks they’re out at the college parties when instead they’re home alone day-trading while they’re waiting for their friends to call.
I think Amazon would benefit from a vast exposure to new customers and social data! Imagine what they could sell me if they knew I’d been boating with friends or that I had a camping excursion planned (maybe something first aid related). Even product “reviews” (which can be found in 140 character “this sucks” twitters) to broadcasting 40% discounts for kindle books when they know I’m stuck at an airport with a layover! There’s a huge wealth of valuable data for consumer companies to be gleaned from these social networks.
Amazon has a ton of users and already with their payment system and associates program they’ve shown that open standards can actually be used to make money, it seems that this would be another area in which they could reap the benefits and help everyone by driving the creation and adoption of standards.