Google announces OpenSocial - open API for connecting social networks

So, we now have Google's answer to Facebook's closed development platform: OpenSocial (link goes live Thursday).

Google has a good selection of launch partners for this -- Ning, LinkedIn (an API?! finally!), and Plaxo being the most interesting ones. RockYou and Slide are Facebook development companies that are also signed on, so we'll definitely see some launch apps, not just bare APIs.

This is, of course, very encouraging and similar to the short discussion I lead at the Facebook Developer Garage: integrate with systems other than Facebook, use open standards, and put your stuff out on the open web. Marc Canter has a gleeful post about all of this, including linking back to standards and experiments that have already been underway. Be interesting to see how OpenID Attribute Exchange, which I have long been a fan of, fits into all this.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that there was already a Drupal module ready to go -- here's the project page. Except, it's just a placeholder for now :P But, nonetheless, this is an obvious set of APIs for Drupal to support and participate in this open web.

Will it work? Well, we've got a whole other set of mashups and connections to be making. This code is brand new, and developers, designers, and business owners are going to have to spend time kicking the tires and just trying stuff. Just like Facebook and the Facebook platform has been a new thing which has seen an explosion of creativity and experimentation, I expect we'll see the same thing around these open APIs. It's going to be a fun ride...