Have you noticed the new widget in my sidebar? It has just been pushed out by Google as a tool for webmasters to “add a dash of social” to their website. Here’s how they describe it:
Friend Connect’s goal is to facilitate an open social web. Using open standards like OpenID and OAuth, Friend Connect makes it simple for people to instantly interact with one another on the sites that they already love to visit. Additionally, websites that use Friend Connect become OpenSocial containers, capable of running applications created by the OpenSocial developer community.
It doesn’t seem to DO much at the moment, but what this is doing is giving Google the power to create linkages between individuals, websites and each other and build up a social graph that can then be used for lots of different things. It’s interesting to see that Facebook released something similar on the same day. Interestingly, both offerings feel a bit immature compared to the functionality that CloudShout offers.
There’s a great post on Dave Winer’s blog about how technology comes in waves with things like new hardware developments, the rise of the internet, live event video streaming, handheld computers all starting a new wave. And this movement is just heralding the beginning of a new one. This one will be fun to watch because it’s not just a technological wave, but will affect the way and interact with one another.