Yahoo! joins open social

Bloggers have been asking for some time, for Yahoo to join Open Social. Now it’s happened: Yahoo has officially joined Open Social. It’s been positioned as a defensive move against Microsoft’s drive to own user data (a la Passport) and thus, to keep Microsoft away from actually acquiring Yahoo. I just don’t see the value of Open Social as a purely defensive move — after all, Microsoft itself has learned a lot since the Passport and Palladium days. I believe that Microsoft has effectively made the transition towards more openness around protocols and systems and allowing much more user control over personal information (I was part of Microsoft during part of that transition).

I’d point topeople like Dare Obasanjo as examples of this type of thoughtful movement.

If you accept this premise, you could even argue that Yahoo’s act of joining Open Social serves almost as a stalking horse for Microsoft itself to become a contributor to more of these open information-sharing and protocol-sharing movements. I know, I know, hard to believe — but I think Ray Ozzie’s heart is definitely in the place of co-creating and co-collaborating with as many software developers as possible — and if building that kind of ecosystem means embracing Open Social and LAMP instead of Windows Live and Windows Server / SQL. It’s heretical, but it’ll happen.

The piece that I think is the most interesting is, in fact, the Open Social Foundation, which creates a larger framework for almost anyone to work inside of Open Social and contribute effectively to Open Social efforts.

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