Facebook to become more open?

Facebook wants to make the data its members enter into the social network’s profiles portable, so that they can move that data to other online services if they want, the company’s CEO said Wednesday.

It’s already possible to take some data out of Facebook for use in third party applications (but not store it), but extracting data and data objects (such as photos) would be a big step, and a bold one given the current dominance of Facebook, at least in the UK and in terms of speed of growth.

How they implement it is going to be very interesting, given the privacy concerns about the API. But if it does happen, and there are other sites that make use of it the way that application development within Facebook has taken off, it could be another huge leap forward in terms of making Facebook almost an integral part of the internet.

Facebook wants to make members’ data portable

The long tail of Facebook applications

This article from O’Reilly on the long tail of Facebook applications ties in with some of the comments I made on the Exponetic blog a few weeks ago comparing Web 1.0’s history with Facebook’s own progress.

The key points are:

  • Some applications are getting huge traffic
  • The majority of applications aren’t
  • Only 45 applications have more than 100,000 active users

100,000 users is still a lot of people (bearing in mind an active user is one who visits at least once per day).

As I originally said, I believe the best prospect is not in creating one killer viral application but in working towards a suite of applications. That’s the way to make the long tail work.

The long tail of Facebook applications

The Facebook platform: Web 2.0 or Web 1.0 a second time around?

Rubik’s Cube still in the news

It’s good to see the Rubik’s Cube going strong after all these years.

“Nakajima solved the classic 3×3 version of the six-coloured cube – which has nine squares on each side – with an average time of 12.46 seconds in five attempts.”

“None were able to beat the world record of 9.86 seconds set by French cube enthusiast Thibaut Jacquinot in May.”

And I was thought my best time of 50 seconds was pretty good!

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Japan teen in historic Rubik win

It’s official: swallowing swords hurts your throat

The Ig Nobel awards are out, and a great collection of flagrant abuse of science they are too. My favourite is the awards in the linguistics category: “Juant Manuel Toro, Josep Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, of Barcelona University, for showing that rats cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards”.

It’s official: swallowing swords hurts your throat

In Facebook, Investing in a Theory

This article in the New York Times actually has a fairly level-headed view of the Facebook application market and how much money can be made from it. It’s quite a rare thing to find a level-headed opinion about an over-hyped subject in mainstream journalism, so quite refreshing. It also makes quite a few good points the sustainability of current advertising models.

In Facebook, Investing in a Theory