Storytlr Founders Announce Ambitious One Social Web Project

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.

onesocialweb
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

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. I think this is a great solution to the decentralization of social networks. Will definitely follow these guys.

  2. Thanks for the post. It's great to learn that yesterday Facebook opened up chat (using xmpp) so that you can use any jabber client. They are in a great position to join a decentralized social network. Maybe an xmpp based federated social network approach may happen sooner than we think.

  3. Thanks Mark for the writeup !

    To be fair, it is worth pointing that Google has also the intention to federate Buzz. They plan however to do it in a very different way: using Webfinger, OpenID, OAuth, Salmon, etc… (at least, in my current understanding).

    I have personal doubts on how this would work in practice, especially when dealing with non public data and this is why we decided to use XMPP: it provides us with a strong identity and security framework, and it will scale nicely for server-to-server push notifications. But in the end, if the world moves to a HTTP/REST framework for federation, we'll be the first one to adopt it as well !

    What matters to us is just to raise awareness and keep pushing for it to happen: one social web. We'll keep you in the loop with our progress !

  4. I've been waiting for this development for years. I'm very heartened to see work being done to make social networks play nice over the wider web.

  5. Well, this is Noserub 🙂

  6. Actually, they are quite different if you give them more than a cursory glance. OSW should support private items and item-level access control. Moreover, the OSW protocol is XMPP with extensions that are beginning to be documented already. Scouring the Noserub mailing lists will reveal that it actually has no documented protocol, and little progress has been made in this direction for over 2 years. 🙂

  7. Actually, they are quite different if you give them more than a cursory glance. OSW should support private items and item-level access control. Moreover, the OSW protocol is XMPP with extensions that are beginning to be documented already. Scouring the Noserub mailing lists will reveal that it actually has no documented protocol, and little progress has been made in this direction for over 2 years. 🙂

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