Friday, November 30, 2007

Following Google Local

The Google Maps API team has opened up their files. Depending on where you are looking on Google Maps you will have different functionality and information. For example, in India, you'll get geographic titles and business listings on the map, but there are no driving directions.

See the Google speadsheet for more information. According to the spreadsheet, there are 18 counties that support business listings. Thanks to Pamela Fox, now we know where our the Google coattails can drive local business...

identifies the major geographies and major types of information including geographic titles,

Saturday, November 03, 2007

OpenSocial - Has Two Uses

Googles launched OpenSocial this week. OpenSocial is a content sharing standard that allows two primary capabilities:

3rd Party Embedded Content
Popular websites like LinkedIn and MySpace were previously limited to what their technology teams could create. With OpenSocial, these site no longer have to develop all the information tools on their site. By embracing the standard, popular websites can allow for any web information tools to be added to their site; some examples have already been created such as calendar sharing, event organization and music listening.

Content Syndication Standard
The corollary to 3rd party content integration is that OpenSocial allows for websites to re-published their content and information tools. OpenSocial boasts 250MM users through its current partners, while that is a great jumpstart, the effect of a content sharing standard is far reaching and has substantial long-term implications. By embracing the syndication standard, however, you have in effect limited the possible growth of your own website (see the end of new social neworks).

Easy Use and Implementation
Behind the scenes the coding for either use is simple. It is basic HTML and Javascript encapsulated in an XML file, so all the cool AJAX and web features are available. Unfortunately, compiled code libraries such as .Net won't work out of the box. See sample OpenSocial code.

While OpenSocial will commoditize the social networks, we still embrace how Google gives away the number one position.