Today I discovered that Laurent Eschenauer & Alard Weisscher, co-founders of the popular Storytlr Lifestreaming service, have embarked on a very ambitious new project. Storytlr ceased development and was released as open source last December and today we apparently find out why. They’ve now taken on a much larger problem of building a ” free, open, and decentralized social networking platform” called One Social Web.
Here’s their description
The purpose of onesocialweb is to enable free, open, and decentralized social applications on the web. Its protocol can be used to turn any XMPP server into a full fledged social network, participating in the onesocialweb federation. The suite of extensions covers all the usual social networking use cases such as user profiles, relationships, activity streams and third party applications. In addition, it provides support for fine grained access control, realtime notification and collaboration.
I read a little further to find out that this project is an initiative of Vodafone Group Research and Development which you can learn about more from the link. Laurent and Alard have also stated that they are very much open to suggestion and feedback from anyone that wants to contribute to this project. My guess is that with their proven track record and the fact that this platform is being built around other open initiatives such as Activity Streams, portablecontacts, OAuth, OpenSocial, FOAF, XRDS, OpenID, and others, they should receive some good support.
Communicating across the disjointed social web is the problem One Social Web is trying to solve
When I think about how this system would work I look back at how SocialThing did things like where they would import activity from your friends from the sources of the social media services they lived on and allowed you to interact with them without requiring them to join SocialThing. I always liked that approach which nobody since then has tried to emulate and now it appears we have a new initiative aiming to bring us just that with open standards to boot.
On the day after Google announces Buzz and yet another social network we need to pay attention to I’m looking forward to watching the progress of One Social Web to create a decentralized and federated way of helping us connect the dots and make things easier to manage instead of adding to the pile.
They plan on the first release of the code to happen in March. You can learn much more about this project by visiting their site and viewing some of the materials I’ve embedded below.
Why One Social Web?
Screencast of Web Client
FOSDEM 2010 Presentation