Friday, November 02, 2007


I don't get it. The Valley is going nuts over OpenSocial. And yeah, it's cool. But not "checkmate" cool, as TechCrunch seems to think.

Yes open source is great. Yes platforms are greater. Look at what Wikipedia has done, harnessing the wisdom and intelligence of the masses - it's created what is probably the largest factual database in the history of mankind within only a few years.

But let's take a step back. Only a few months ago, Facebook's new platform was all the rage. Fast forward to today and, well, what's changed? I'm talking user experience. And when you boil it down, not much has. I don't have any stats, and maybe apps have revolutionized the Facebook experience for some small subset of users, but the core reason people log on to Facebook hasn't really changed.

And that's what Facebook is about. What the internet is about. People. You can make all the platforms you want, but it's very hard to change the way people operate.

People base their web behavior around killer apps. For example, Facebook's first killer app was basically dating/sex - a tool for checking out the fine (or ugly) guys or girls at your school. Then Facebook introduced pictures, which became a killer app for some. To a lesser extent, the news feed was a killer app, a reason to log on. Ditto with Walls and birthday reminders.

For the core of Facebook's users - that young, college-aged, 20s demographic - OpenSocial changes, well, nothing. Hell, I'm not sure I'll ever leave Facebook, if only because the vast majority of visual documentation of my 4 years at Penn (pictures) are on their servers.

But I digress. The point is that, so far, internet platforms (Facebook being the only example) haven't, on the whole, created killer apps. Who's to say OpenSocial will? And even if it does, will it steal traffic from Facebook?

(As an unrelated/related aside, writing this post got me thinking about the web and killer apps in general. Because, at it's core, that's what Web 2.0 is about - harnessing advancements in a variety of fields (everything from bandwidth speeds to "new" languages like AJAX) to create a new set of killer apps. But if platforms are unable to come up with this new set, how about the internet as a whole? This relays directly into what is, in my opinion, the question of the day: are we in a bubble?

And from this line of thinking, the answer is surprisingly clear and yet still fundamentally complex: if the current set of web companies can't succeed in developing new killer apps - websites that truly give us the ability to do things we could never do before (interactive virtual worlds, for example) and make those things worth doing (so maybe virtual worlds aren't an example:) - we're in trouble.

Maybe that's deep or maybe it's foolishly obvious, make of it what you will.)

(As a second aside, I thought I'd reference a post a wrote over the summer, when Facebook's platform was the big story. The post voices my thoughts on open platforms and suggests that maybe Google or Yahoo should launch one of their own (wait, did I predict OpenSocial?:). Specifically, I wonder if OpenSocial will take the structure outlined in the post or something else entirely.)


  1. Right on Ravi. I still subscribe to TechCrunch, but I have to take anything written by Mike Arrington with so much salt that it's not very palatable.

    The other writers are a little more grounded in reality.

    FB will be around and valuable for a long while, even after the digerati move on to the next shiny pretty thing.

  2. Couldn't agree more... no one logs on to Facebook because of the apps -- they use apps because they are there on Facebook. The only people excited here are the techies and people sick of hearing Facebook news reports being splurged non stop on TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.

  3. Indicate your spouse you haven't much ignored chanel replica the way everthing started off, with most of these a long time, by providing the woman some sort of locket while using the snapshot connected with pair of you with your affair. Will probably be a wonderful treat intended for anniversaries, in particular these motorola milestone mobiel phone people like 25th, 30th, and even more importantly, 50th. A different plus side to tailored bracelets is usually it's anything you possibly can allow at anytime, no matter if there may be a party or maybe nothing by any means. Tailored chanel replica helps make a vital special occasion far more substantial in addition to a normal time exclusive. It truly is undoubtedly some sort of sought after treat that's usefulness. Other than your lady or maybe significant other, you possibly can allow many people tailored bracelets, far too. Ones granny, mama, little princess, aunt, cartier replica, in addition to niece will probably many undoubtedly appreciate to have a piece of tailored bracelets, whether some sort of locket, some sort of wedding ring, some sort of ring, accessory, check out, for example. An in depth pal will get pleasure from having just one. Certainly, tailored bracelets seriously isn't a hublot replica sale for-women-only treat. Adult males will delight in having cartier replica bracelets, in particular wristwatches in addition to cuff inbound links. It truly is a make any difference connected with picking out a wonderful portion on your phone.

  4. true religion outlet,
    oakley canada,
    chanel handbags outlet,
    indianapolis colts jerseys,
    basketball shoes,basketball sneakers,lebron james shoes,sports shoes,kobe bryant shoes,kobe sneakers,nike basketball shoes,running shoes,mens sport shoes,nike shoes
    air force 1 shoes,
    lululemon pants,
    golden state warriors jerseys,
    seahawks jersey,
    abercrombie fitch,
    air jordan 4 free shipping,
    hollister canada,
    denver broncos jerseys,
    puma shoes,
    49ers jersey,
    nike outlet,
    vikings jerseys,
    new balance shoes,
    ysl outlet,
    cheap nfl jersey,

  5. The article is very interesting. And I also want to share articles about health, I'm sure this will be useful. Read and share it. Thank you very much :)

    Cara Mengobati Luka Bakar Melepuh
    Obat Jerawat Alami
    Obat Infeksi Ginjal di Apotik