Welcome!

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

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
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...