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Confirmed: MySpace Joining Google’s OpenSocial

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 01

Now, it’s getting interesting: News Corp.’s MySpace is joining Google’s just-announced OpenSocial program. That’s Google’s shot at one-upping Facebook in the race to get outside software developers to create programs for social networks. The program allows developers of social applications, such as Slide, RockYou, and Flixster—which in turn have helped make Facebook the hot company of the year—to write programs once and have them run largely unchanged on any social site that signs on to OpenSocial.

While it’s not entirely surprising, given Google’s ad deal with MySpace, the deal is a huge win for Google’s plan to stake out a place on the social Web. “OpenSocial is going to become the defacto standard for developers instantly out of the gate,” MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe declared at a hastily arranged press conference at Google today. MySpace has 70 million activen users worldwide, still more than Facebook’s 51 million.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt says the two companies have been working together on this front for more than a year. Most recently, Schmidt met with Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., to seal the deal. “The Web has moved to its next stage,” Schmidt says—the social Web.

And MySpace isn’t the only new member. The popular international social network Bebo has also joined, along with Friendster, hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, Xing, Engage.com, Hyves (no, I don’t know who they are either), Imeem, Plaxo, Viadeo, Tianji (ditto), and software developers Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SixApart, as well as “many, many” social apps developers. “We are talking to everyone,” says Vic Gundotra, a Google VP of engineering.

Facebook too? He wouldn’t name Facebook but said Google is talking to everyone, clearly implying that Google has approached it. Added Schmidt: “Everyone can join. There’s no intent to discriminate or exclude.”

For now, at least, the battle lines have been drawn: Google, MySpace and the rest of the social networking pack vs. Microsoft and Facebook. (Where’s Yahoo!? Who knows?)

On the other hand, it’s not clear those lines will stay drawn that sharply for long. Google said it’s not planning to maintain firm control over the OpenSocial application programming interfaces, details of which will be made public tonight. Gundotra says outright: “We plan to open-source everything in a matter of weeks. It’s going to happen as fast as we can.”

A number of blogs, including Silicon Alley Insider and TechCrunch, had broken the story earlier today, prompting Google and MySpace to jettison a planned embargo until late this afternoon.

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Learning more about Generation M

February 17th, 2008 · 9 Comments

Children born between 1982 and 1998 are now beginning to enter the workforce; while they’ve been called many things, I continue to use the term Generation M. [And that’s not because of any personal pride in coming up with the term; rather, the characteristics that define this generation seem to have a lot of “M” about them — mobile, multimedia, multitasking, multichannel and so on.

The Netxplorateur Forum invited me to speak to them about Generation M a few days ago; as part of my preparation, I trawled through my bookmarked items to see what had changed since mid-December, the last time I’d spoken about the subject (also in Paris, as it turned out, at Le Web 3). Which meant I had an excuse to re-read the excellent Pew Internet report on Teens and Social Media, published just before Christmas last year.

Read it if you get the chance, it’s worth it.

Four things stand out for me in the report:

Generation M is faced with a vast array of choices when it comes down to communications. They really use this vast array. [We never had this choice, so we should not judge them. Things are different, and we have to live with the differences.]
A segment of Generation M, termed super communicators, use the array more extensively than others. And they defy their critics by meeting their friends in person far more often than other teens. [Putting paid to the myth that these kids spend all their time online and have no “life”]
Those that belong to social network sites are the most active content creators, the most active contributors of social objects, the most active participants in the conversations around the social objects. [These are the people that marketers would do well to understand, because they are the new marketers, the viral recommenders who are adept at creating and using social objects.]
While all this is happening, the landline continues to be important. [This is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, restricted to the developed world, and will prove completely false in India, China, Africa and maybe even Russia and South America. Nevertheless it is of interest to me, and not just because of where I work!]

The relevant charts from the report are given below for your convenience.



Tags: Four pillars

9 responses so far ↓

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  • Robin Blandford [ByteSurgery] » Digital Teens: Still Landlining It – Digital Media Engineer //Feb 17, 2008 at 11:20 am

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  • Feb 17, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    In India landline is significant for a different reason: reliability. It is common to have conversation like: “hey I can’t hear you, you voice is breaking, I’ll call you from landline…’
    And the operators are pushing landline with deals by bundling landline with broadband, or mobile.

    In the charts, interesting to note that email is at the bottom and ’sharing own artistic work’ is in the top.
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  • Conviviendo con la Generation M » El Blog de Enrique Dans //Feb 17, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    […] entrada en Confused of Calcutta, “Learning more about Generation M“, describe a partir de un informe de Pew Internet los hábitos de la generación nacida entre […]
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  • sysrick.com » links for 2008-02-17 //Feb 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    […] Learning more about Generation M […]
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  • Feb 18, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I think I was born before my time!
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  • David David (Check me out!)

    Feb 18, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Are you claiming you invented the term Generation M?
    I seem to remember this being used around in the mid nineties and possibly before in a number of published university articles and its been used ever since to describe multitasking, mobile, media and any other term beginning with M.

    I’d like to see a breakdown on differences between the sexes on the charts above
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  • Feb 18, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I think the first time I saw the term being used in public was in a Kaiser Family Foundation study sometime in 2005. I started using the term in public after that, in preference to any other terms.

    it is this preference I was alluding to.

    I should have come up with a better construction, I see how you thought I came up with the term. What I meant was my preference for the term in comparison to others. Like preferring The Because Effect to “abundance economics”.
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  • Feb 19, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Hi JP,
    I guess one of the next fight is for this generation, having simplified uses of these services. And probably the aim for electronics devices is the converge effect, to avoid having several devices in our pockets ; there’s some studies about this.
    Generation M today is so much “Multi-devices” too…
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  • Feb 19, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Hello Everybody!!

    I agree, the Generation M, …unfortunately there advantages and profits, but..also there are… many things bad..
    ‘m makinf Events of Networking, called “6 Degrees”…and a lot of people don’t use IT, Messenger, Social Networks, Skype…is incredible, but now each child use Internet, and have e-mail,… WELCOME GENERATION “M”!!!

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MySpace Creates Guidelines For Social Networking

The company’s partnership with 49 state governments includes a 24-hour hot line for law enforcement and blocks people under 14 years old from creating profiles.

MySpace on Monday announced its participation in a task force designed to increase safety on social networking sites as part of a partnership with 49 state governments.The agreement comes after several states criticized MySpace for its failure to block sex offenders from its site. Since then, MySpace has cooperated with investigators, identified tens of thousands of offenders, and increased its safety measures.

The agreement establishes a “Key Principles of Social Networking Sites Safety” document and urges site operators to incorporate safety features in four categories: Site Design and Functionality; Education and Tools for Parents, Educators and Children; Law Enforcement Cooperation; and Online Safety Task Force. The guidelines ask social sites to review all images, videos, and group content; make all profiles of 14- and 15-year-old users private so adult strangers cannot contact youngsters; and delete registered sex offenders’ profiles.

MySpace has already taken those steps, and it plans to make profiles of 16- and 17-year-olds private as well. The company said it will also improve technology that prohibits people under 14 from creating profiles.

The principles also call for social networking sites to contribute to Internet safety education for parents, educators, and children. MySpace has begun to offer tips and has created a public safety service announcement for parents. The social networking site is also creating free software to enhance safety.

MySpace said it will consider creating a child e-mail registry that could help parents prevent their children from creating accounts on MySpace or other social networking sites. MySpace also promised to increase communication with people who voice complaints.

The site also created a 24-hour hot line for law enforcement. The attorneys general said that should serve as a model for other sites.

Finally, MySpace plans to create an industry-wide Internet Safety Technical Task Force to improve Internet safety through identity authentication and other methods.

“The Task Force will explore all new technologies that can help make users more safe and secure including age verification,” MySpace said in a written announcement. “The Task Force will include Internet businesses, identity authentication experts, non-profit organizations, academics and technology companies.”

The task force will also include a representative from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Ernie Allen, president and chief executive of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, praised MySpace for efforts to improve security, privacy, and identity authentication.

“Today millions of teens use social networking sites,” Allen said in a prepared statement. “The collaborative effort between MySpace and the attorneys general is a major step that will make using social networking sites much safer for teens.”

Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer at MySpace, thanked the attorneys general for their cooperation in improving safety on the Internet.

“This is an industry-wide challenge, and we must all work together to create a safer Internet,” Nigam said Monday, as MySpace and several attorneys general gathered for a news conference in New York City. “The principles we have adopted set forth what the industry needs to strive towards to provide a safer online experience for teens, and we look forward to sharing our ongoing safety innovations with other companies.”

Attorneys general from across the United States now want other social networking sites and Internet providers to adopt the principles. That move represents a public relations coup for MySpace, which is now upheld as an example for others to follow.

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Google Launches Social Graph API

By making social data more portable, Google is hoping to make social networks like Facebook and MySpace less relevant.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) on Friday launched a new application programming interface (API) to help developers make use of social networking relationship data.The Google Social Graph API provides developers with a way to leverage social relationships in their applications and on their Web sites. “You can make it easy for users to bring their existing social connections into a new Web site and as a result, users will spend less time rebuilding their social networks and more time giving your app the love it deserves,” explained Google engineer Brad Fitzpatrick in a blog post.

For example, a developer using the Social Graph API could create a button for a Web site that would allow a registered user to easily “add friends.”

By making social data more portable, Google makes social networks less relevant. In keeping with its mission to organize and index the world’s information, Google would prefer to see a single network, the Internet, through which any data can be accessed and, it’s hoped, monetized through its ad platform.

If Google’s vision proves appealing and social data loses its linkage to a specific social site, Facebook and MySpace may find their ability to retain users substantially diminished. Without the added value of social graph exclusivity, Facebook and MySpace become merely providers of Web hosting for the HTML averse. It’s doubtful Facebook could sustain a valuation of $15 billion were it pitched as “Geocities, but with widgets.”

It’s not clear yet how well Google will be able to monetize social graph data; during the company’s fourth quarter financial call Thursday, Google co-founder Sergey Brin observed that social network advertising hadn’t performed as well as expected. But the company may yet find a way to use relationship data to target its ads more effectively, provided the privacy issues can be worked out.

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