The conference call is about to start. Let’s see what they have to say beyond the original announcement earlier today of Opensocial.org. Here are my notes:
Wade Chambers from Yahoo kicks things off. Yahoo has been impressed by OpenSocial so far. Feels OpenSocial is rapidly developing and has a lot of potential [obviously not there yet, though].
Joe Kraus, director of product development at Google: Explains what OpenSocial is—write once, deploy anywhere. Two major container partners have launched (orkut and MySpace), with Hi5 coming online soon. Today OpenSocial reaches 200 million users. “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” OpenSocial is about going far.
Our collective goal was to make sure that OpenSocial is on a strong footing for years to come. Announcing today intent to creating a non-profit organization. It will provide a safe harbor for intellectual property. Expect the foundation to be set up in next 90 days. Yahoo, MySpace, Google have agreed to patent non-assertion covenant. Once the foundation is created, it will get similar non-assertion clauses from all OpenSocial contributors. Google will contribute OpenSocial trademark and other documentation, specifications, etc.
Steve Pearman, SVP of product strategy, MySpace: Quite a lot has happened since launch with MySpace as a container. What does OpenSocial mean to containers? [“containers is OS-lingo for hosting sites like MySpace, Bebo, etc]. It means specialization. Real winners will be the users when everyone can specialize on what they do best.
Miguel Helft, NYT: To what extent is creation of foundation a response to concerns that Google would own the IP created by OpenSocial?
Wade: From the Yahoo perspective, while Google has been doing a great job shepherding the community, it is a community effort. This is the next step.
Joe Kraus: this is just the next step in where OpenSocial needs to be heading because it is a community-driven process. More a natural evolution than a particular response.
Me (TechCrunch): Why weren’t other OS partners involved in this announcement and if there is ever any revenue associated with the foundation, how will that be split up?
Joe: the idea was to invite the whole community to form this foundation. In the meantime, until that is set up you have seen MySpace, Google and Yahoo enter into an agreement give [protection to the community], the intent is involve the whole community
The Opensocial specification doesn’t say anything about monetization. Each of the different social networks implementing OpenSocial can spit up revenues in any way it sees fit. The foundation will not be taking in any revenue because that is not in the specifications.
Steve, MySpace: In the event there would be some revenue lines to the foundation, I don’t know what they would be, maybe T-shirts, they would go towards furthering the purpose of the foundation, not something that would b split among constituents.
Eric Eldon (VentureBeat): Some stats on who OS is doing?
Joe: Since specification 0.5, we made two major revisions, with 0.7 everyone felt it was launch ready. two major containers have launched with OS , MySpace and Orkut, Hi5 coming next Tuesday.
Steve: thousands of developers, hundreds of application in last two weeks.
Marshall Kirkpatrick, ReadWriteWeb: Are there concerns about OpenSocial splintering? [Uh, yeah].
Steve: Early feedback from app developers is that once they got OpenSocial running on one OS social network it took only hours to make it work on another. We think we are off to a great start. [Non-response, see above]
Wade: We are supporting OS because we feel it will benefit the Internet, users, and developers. [Double non-response]
[I agree with Marshall that splintering is the big issue here. Everyone pays lip service to OpenSocial, but if they are big enough they go ahead and try to create their own platform or team up with Facebook. See imeem and Bebo. Anyone else think this is a problem?]