facebook a phone book ? A comparson of facebook & open social …

This blog [or here ] got me thinking, what exactically[1] is a social network platform ? Murdoch is quoted as saying “MySpace is a place for self-expression, where users’ MySpace pages become their home on the Internet. It is where they discover people, content, and culture — where they share information, communicate, and consume. Facebook, on the other hand, tends to be a web utility, similar to a phonebook.”

As described here the war of the social network interfaces has began. One main reason for the war is the control of architecture – companies have concluded that she who controls the interfaces controls the domain; social networks being a nascent domain with vast potential … the math is clear ..

Naturally there is more to the social network wars of the 2007, between Opensocial and Facebook, with Microsoft/IBM/Sun waiting in the wings. In order to get a fundamental understanding to evaluate the significance, we have to look at the offerings, systemically, from a much broader perspective, in spite of the rhetoric by the executives and popular press.

(P.S : This is WIP as on 11/08/07 Pl suggest categories you are passionate about)


Till now, in some sense, social networks have been a consumer artifact, a new phenomenon employed mainly for the social graph – that too in a very limited fashion. Only a handful of serious apps exist in this domain, again for now. This analysis is being done in the context; there is another adjacent domain enterprise social and also the knowledge graph ! Both of which have many flavors; will touch upon some, but not in any detail ….



Programming Model




Completeness of Information Model









As of now, facebook has more mindshare. facebook definitely is developer friendly – the facebook developers Wiki is much more useful than the opensocial docs.

In short …

There is no question that social graph is a platform than a feature or an application. Presentation by Reid Hoffman & Tim O’Reilly at the Graphical Social patterns 07 clearly articulates this domain.


Epilogue a.k.a Locus & Trajectory

The domain of social networking doesn’t stop here. IMHO, it has just started. There are two adjacent and complementary domains to the social networks – semantic web and topic maps. May be this is a topic for another blog … Let me stop here in the name of brevity (and go back and fill-in the details)…

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Ref: [1] From signoff of Detroit weatherman Sunny Eliott


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