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rwandering.net

The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Google I/O Day 1

Quick notes from Google I/O today. 

Best things I saw were (in order):

  1. Android.  Very disruptive.  It will force the iPhone to be more open.  It will further commoditize the hardware (driving down prices).  It places Symbian, RIM, and WM into filling niche roles.  Of course the other mobile OSes aren’t sitting still, but they are already playing catch up.  This will put them further behind.
  2. GWT.  JavaScript apps written in Java with familiar tools.  Cool.  Interesting how Microsoft and Adobe are solving the JavaScript-dev-maint problem with rich containers (Silverlight and Air / Flash) while Google is solving it with a Java to JavaScript compiler.  The former are working outside
  3. OpenSocial.  The fundamentals of this API and Friend Connect are to allow social applications to interact across silos.  To me this means user control.  This will ultimately force silos (like Facebook) to open up.  I like it.

Participated in the ongoing argument between Robert Scoble and Steve Gillmor regarding FriendFeed.

Met a man dressed in a pirate costume.  Or Ben Franklin costume.  Pano Kroko.  Fascinating guy.  Checkout www.churmo.com.

Ran into an old friend, Julian Wixson.  Hadn’t seen him for at least ten years.

Went on a trek with Robert, Steve, Pano, Julian, Vincent Nguyen of Slashgear, Mark Lucovsky  and a student to see Gary Vaynerchuk talk about his new book.  I learned two things:

  1. It is about a 15 minute walk from Moscone West to Union Square. 
  2. Don’t drink the same varietal twice.

Got back to the Google party just in time to see Flight of the Conchords.  Those guys are very funny.

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OpenSocial payback?

Many are calling Google’s OpenSocial play an apparent retaliation against Facebook for their recent Microsoft deal.  The reasoning is that both Microsoft and Google were bidding for a Facebook ad deal.  Microsoft won, so Google is going to make Facebook, and by extension Microsoft, pay.

Perhaps it is payback, but certainly the OpenSocial strategy predates the Microsoft agreement.  Not even Google could pull this whole thing off in just a few weeks.

This begs some questions:

  • Did the losing proposal from Google include OpenSocial?  Did it require that Facebook adopt the APIs?  Did that push Facebook to Microsoft?
  • Alternatively, was Facebook threatened with OpenSocial as a retaliation?  That is, did Google offer to shelve OpenSocial if Facebook accepted a Google deal?

It isn’t yet clear (to me anyway) whether or not Facebook was briefed on OpenSocial.  Google said yes, then no.  Facebook said no, but some evidence points to them actually having known. 

  • Are these differing stories rooted in non-disclosure agreements dating from the failed negotiation between Google and Facebook?

Final question:

  • Does anyone really believe that Google would have shelved the OpenSocial strategy just for an ad deal with Facebook? 

I for one do not.

For an excellent post on Facebook / OpenSocial, read Dan Farber.

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