Social Network Interoperability: Is the W3C Ready?

Harry Halpin, <H.Halpin a!>


September 2008

Opening the Social Graph

facebook pic

Users are increasingly wanting more and more powerful applications to access their social data - and to control who should have access to their data.

Companies want to deploy social networking tools, and developers are tired of lock-in to just one social network

The group came to be, major vendors from Google to Facebook to Microsoft all joining a list-serv..

Two Stories

The Social Web requires: data portability
  1. The Authentication Story: How can you use a single login to securely access multiple services, both to download, modify, and upload social data? (OpenID, OAuth...)
  2. The Social Graph Story: How do we actually get the social graph, merge with others from different services, and query graphs.


We have nothing to say about privacy on the Semantic Web?

Just publish all your data on the Web will not work for sensitive social data.

Multiple profiles, trust, security, deleting your data on command... semantic web

The Social Web needs solutions now - not in a Working Group sometime next year.

Data-Driven Development

What can future work in this area learn from recent HTML developments?

Data-Driven: People are using XFN microformats. We need to have mappings between XFN, FOAF, between VCard (hCard) and various APIs. graph

Parting Thoughts


I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.

William Morris. A Dream of John Ball