As I was signing up for yet another Web2.0 service, I realized that the interoperability between these services is growing. I’m starting to rely more and more on specific websites to take away the job that PC applications and other communication tools used to take care of. There are some core communication hubs and supporting technologies.
My communication hubs are:
My supporting technologies are:
Using all these tools and services might sound chaotic. And in a way it is. For me they all serve a specific purpose. I sign up for a lot of these services to try them out, but these are the ones that stuck.
There is overlap. Twitter, Utterz, Facebook and my blog all have “status” for example. But through web services I’m able to update them all in one shot. If I update Utterz, it will automatically create an entry in Twitter and that in return triggers a status update in Facebook and on my blog. That’s the cool thing that’s happening on the web today.
Below is a diagram of how all my services “talk” to each other.
Some other examples:
A new Photo on Flickr will automatically appear on my blog.
The last music I’ve listened to shows on my Facebook profile through a Facebook application
My latest blog entries are displayed on my facebook profile
By connecting these services, I can create relevancy for the people on my networks. Showing the last songs from Last.fm doesn’t make sense on my blog because it’s primarily oriented to my work, but it makes perfect sense on my facebook profile because it is a lot more about my personal life.
There’s still a long way to go but you can see the potential. We’ll see more of these services starting to connect better hopefully. A few services won’t let you extract data yet for example. I can use my Flickr images everywhere I want, I can embed them and there are API’s. But my images in Facebook are locked in. But Facebook has a great tool to help you share your images. So right now I end up uploading some pictures twice for two different purposes.
I’m also unable to transport my “social graph”. A social graph is a person’s network of relationships with other people. Right now I need to befriend everybody all over again for every service I sign ip with. I should just be able to tell all these services once who is able to be my friend where. I also should be able to create groups of people. A “friend group”, a “family” group, a “colleagues” group, a “soccer team” group, etc. I should then be able to assign privacy levels to each group. My friends and family can see my all photos, my colleagues can’t see any, and my soccer team only the pictures tagged “soccer” for example.
Initiative like Open Social are looking to solve this problem, but not everybody is playing along yet. Primarily because it’s in their interest to “lock” people in. But that will change. The internet is an open architecture and “walled gardens” have never, and will never work.
[UPDATE: here’s a nice interview with Google’s Kevin Marks about Open Social and the Social Graph API’s]
Karin has a good entry about an experience she had on a DMO website recently. She talks specifically about Search but her comment about the federal provinces is also interesting. We’ve dealt with this as well on HelloBC. DMO’s often stick with their standard approach to destination hierarchies in their site architecture (provinces, regions, etc) and force consumers to follow it down to a community level. But consumers often don’t know (or care) where a particular community fits in the hierarchy. That’s why we have a drop-down with all our communities right on the homepage. Karin wouldn’t have to use our search engine in the first place. Little things can make a huge difference.
I know I’ve been light on postings in recent weeks. January and February are busy months here at Tourism BC. I hope to pick up the pace soon.
In the meantime, here’s where you can find me in the next few weeks: