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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Facebook moved to the dark side of the force ...

Facebook F8 conference was rich ... They presented new building blocks for a real social Web platform. Web 3.0 is here to stay.

New features are Facebook’s new Open Graph and Social Plug-ins, which include new “like” buttons everywhere on sites outside Facebook.com, auto-login capabilities (without clicking on Facebook Connect), and a Facebook social bar.

Facebook Open Graph Protocol is really a big step ahead for social computing. As said on the OGP web site: "While many different technologies and schemas exist and could be combined together, there isn't a single technology which provides enough information to richly represent any web page within the social graph. The Open Graph protocol builds on these existing technologies and gives developers one thing to implement."
To support the Open Graph Protocol, all you need to do is add some RDFa formatted metatags to the HEAD of your HTML page. By providing a ‘Like’ button that developers can add to any website, for any content or subject, Facebook is becoming the central hub for its users tastes and preferences. The API was also very well designed technically.

Now, you can search through keywords via Google or you can do social search through Facebook Open Graph and use the "like" social anchor.

Everything could have been wonderful ... But the Open Graph is not Open. You need to connect to Facebook to benefit from the Open Graph Protocol... And Facebook decided to make things even worse by offering to developers access to all your public data, but now without the 24 hours data retention limit. So public data are available to all for the time they want and your private data (and your social graphs associated with it) are available to Facebook only.

So I decided to Quit Facebook. Privacy is more important for me than what Facebook can offer. Some alternatives already exist like openlike (http://openlike.org/), or OpenSocial (http://www.opensocial.org/). It is just a question of time.