Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Cognitive Computing , Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Open Source Cloud: Article

How Can Open Source Software Open Up Facebook?

A technical overview of some ideas for an open source infrastructure for social networking.

As Microsoft's recent $240M investment in Facebook gives FB all the capital it needs to further its grand ambitions, some are concerned that one corporation should control so much information about the detailed personal activities and connections among individuals. Even before OpenSocial launched today, one individual - Jeff Reifman (pictured) - had decided to outline an open source software architecture to address these concerns. He has published a technical overview of his ideas for an open source infrastructure for social networking, calling it 'Breaking Open Facebook with Open Source Software.'

With the kind permission of the author, Web 2.0 Journal brings you excerpts here...


Breaking Open Facebook with Open Source Software, Part 1

Since last December, Facebook has grown from 12 to 47 million users. Since May, third party developers have launched more than 6,000 Facebook applications. In Canada, Facebook’s market penetration is so broad that many of my friends there use Facebook as a primary email service. It’s even inspired a song. In fairness, Facebook performs a unique social benefit by linking communities with the use of activity feeds, status updates and traditional social networking features. It’s earned its success by providing a simple, innovative and utilitarian service for managing lightweight communications amongst friends.

While the ubiquity of Google search and the growing success of its Gmail service is remarkable, there are many other search engines and email services for consumers to choose to use. While Amazon and eBay may dominate in their respective markets, they must work continuously to keep customers satisfied because the switching cost for consumers is very low. I can easily sell my stuff on CraigsList or buy from a variety of online or offline outlets. On the other hand, moving your profile and network of friends on Facebook is nearly impossible. Even if Facebook allowed you to export your profile, there is no way to maintain the activity streams with your friends.

Communities (online and offline) tend to conform to the activities that are routinely permitted or legal. There was a day when activists didn’t seek out permits for a protest or tolerate being placed in fenced protest zones far away from the appearance of public officials. The entire Federal regulatory system has evolved to corral activists within a constrained framework that limits their creativity and manages their effectiveness down. Similarly, Facebook decides what features and capabilities are allowed and disallowed. Facebook tightly limits the information that can be used by third party developers and the way in which applications can allow communication between users

Read the rest of Jeff's essay, "Breaking Open Facebook with Open Source Software." 

Breaking Open Facebook with Open Source Software, Part 2

The architecture below provides a high level overview, not a detailed requirements specification. I invite your comments and feedback, especially in areas where I may have missed existing open source infrastructure that may be useful.

My proposed open source social networking architecture includes a core module and several optional components.

The core module provides the basic services necessary to enable a hosted, distributed social network community. The core module is to be installed widely by open source advocates and anyone who wishes to host their own profile privately or start their own online community.

The core module provides services that link these new open source networks together and offer consumers the ability to choose one service to host their profile, while still interacting and connecting with friends on other services. Whereas today, consumers are locked in to using proprietary social networks where most of their friends gather, this architecture would allow consumers to choose their own profile service while still interacting with friends on other services.

Click to view enlarged diagram

Read the rest of Jeff's architectural overview
.

More Stories By Jeff Reifman

Jeff Reifman is the founder of NewsCloud (www.newscloud.com), an open source community media platform. As a former Microsoft Group Program manager, he helped launch MSNBC.com and then left to pursue freelance writing and non-profit technology ventures.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.