How Facebook could open the Open Graph APIs
I was pondering how Facebook could really answer it’s critics in a profound way that would really up-level the social fabric of the internet while also satisfying those that want ultimate control over their data. The basic premise of the solution would be to allow any node in the Open Graph to be redirected to a 3rd party developers server. From that point on, Facebook would then treat that node just as if they were a developer that current gets access to Facebook users.
For example, my URL is currently:
If I could easily go to my account and specify a new location for that data, for example, maybe I would put it at:
Which, for the sake of argument, resolves to much the same information about me, the Sam Pullara node in the graph. Similarly you could ask for metadata about what other things are available. Since it is a REST API you could mix and match those links to point to different endpoints. Some of them might point to a new Flickr Open Graph API endpoint that responds with my photos that are available to the caller. Another might point back at Facebook for my social graph. While a 3rd could point at a web service (say a new output format for Y! Pipes) that combines my posts on Facebook with my RSS feed and my Twitter feed in order to populate the ‘posts’ endpoint. Using these endpoints Facebook could construct the same set of views they have today on the graph but without being the ultimate authority for the data itself. Plus, as they would have to call your APIs with the authentication of the viewing part, privacy is under your complete control as well. For performance reasons, you could still have caching and asynchronous notification systems. Perhaps with some special sauce for websocket you could even allow them to reference the client browser rather than another server for ultimate end user control.
It would be theoretically possible to implement this now without Facebook’s involvement but without them as one of the providers I don’t think you could really get the adoption that would make this truly revolutionary.