Intriguing question: who will choose to join the OpenSocial opportunity Max blogged about? Traditional wisdom suggests that only the losers benefit from standardization, and that the winners will try hard to stay away from it. (And, if they do join it, to embrace and destroy the standard, but that’s another story.)
It’s easy to explain the advantage to everyone else of having Facebook join the party. What are the advantages to Facebook? Social networking sites should be a vortex, with people motivated to join and stay on the sites with the most other users. Making it easy for people to migrate their information would reduce the stickiness. If this analysis is correct, the only way for the rest of the world to win would be for the community of “everyone else” to be larger than the community Facebook can attract itself. It would be interesting to analyze the distributions of membership on social network sites that lead to success for openness versus those that predict that proprietary is the way to win.