Google Friend Connect conference call live blog

This is a record of a live blog of a conference call held by Google to discuss its new Friend Connect service.

Google just concluded a press conference call regarding its new social widget strategy, Google Friend Connect (see " Google brings Friend Connect to the masses "). I was on the call and live-blogged it. See the live blog in the window below.

Caroline McCarthy is working on a follow-up post looking at where Friend Connect fits in an increasingly crowded market of social aggregation plays.

See also:

 Live Blog: Google Friend Connect conference(05/12/2008) 
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9:37
David Glazer, an engineering director at Google: "Bringing users one step closer to 'any app, any site, any friend.'"
9:38
Google: 99 percent of sites are not social networks, but they are social.

9:39
Friend Connect is designed to be a "salt shaker full of social."
Let Webmaster add social capabilities to any site.

9:39
Easy Wizard for people to add social apps (from the Google Gallery) into the social app on the site.
9:41
Product manager:
Friend Connect has three main parts:
1. Place for people to sign in
2. A source of friends
3. Apps
9:41
1. Sign in:
Friend Connect uses OpenID--from any OID provider
9:41
Can also use Google account. Benefit--hundreds of millions of users already have access
9:42
2. Site users OAuth for sources of friends
9:42
3. Apps: Any Open Social app can run on Friend Connect-enabled site.
9:43
Any activity on an FC site can be reflected on any other FC site.
9:43
Launching tonight: Preview release. A few demo sites.
9:44
Also: IngridMichaelson.com. She's a singer. Demo will put iLike on the singer's site via Friend Connect.
9:44
Will start off by "whitelisting a small number of sites."
9:45
Got a question? Ask here. I will post interesting questions and comments. (They don't go automatically)
9:46
[Comment From Joshua Tretakoff]
Will it allow interoperability with other OpenID services? Specifically, Plaxo?
9:46
Commentary: Web is becoming more open, more social... FC is possible only through progress in open standards, like OpenID and OAuth.
9:46
Yada yada
9:46
Google looking forward to rapid evolution in the Web. "Things will look different every six months."
9:46
[Comment From Chris]
Is Friend Connect for personal use or will it have any application toward business?
9:47
Questions from other callers now... I am in queue.
9:48
Q: When will this be available?
9:48
A: Demos will be out in a few days.
9:48
Q: OK, so if I have my own Web site, when do I get to try it?
9:49
A: Joe Kraus: "On the order of months, but certainly not six months. Probably a couple."
9:49
[Comment From Dossy Shiobara]
How is Friend Connect more than just OpenID+OAuth+FOAF? What's the magic here? Why should we care?
9:50
Q: 1: Open Social, how will it integrate? 2: What about Facebook?
9:51
A: Friend Connect supports OpenSocial, but OSoc apps take a few hours of integration work.
9:51
A: No plans to support "running Facebook apps this way." Business relationship with Facebook: "We have no special relationship. Facebook has a terrific API."
9:51
[Comment From Aaron]
Do you like the technology?
9:52
@aaron. Yes. Very cool concept.
9:52
Google is taking questions from conference attendees right now. I am reporting those questions. Hope to be able to ask my (and your) questions in a second.
9:53
Q: (Marshall from ReadWriteWeb): Why have there been three different announcements in the past week? Why doesn't everyone work together?
Also, why isn't data passsed to the site, just held in an iframe?
9:54
Also: Why do you think my friends on one site make sense on another?
9:54
A: 1: Social is "in the air." It's the blossoming of a lot of work by a lot of people. We don't move in lockstep and don't need to. We "converge on interoperable technology."
9:56
2: There's more than one way to connect a site to the social Web. With Friend Connect, "we're confident" it's a good step forward. "I'm sure there will be more ways to do that than what Friend Connect does. We wanted to start with easiest and safest starting point." (itals mine)
9:56
[Comment From James]
But how do you define "interoperable technology"?
9:57
3. Clearly, there is no "one size fits all" of friendship. The user decides if they want to link in their friends. "It has to come down to putting the user in control."
9:57
Our questions:
1. Social Graph API?
2. Dossy's question about OpenID
9:58
1. Don't read anything into it. We just didn't think it's what users were asking for
9:59
2. How is this more than gluing together OpenID + OAUth+ FOAF?
A: It's not different at all. Nothing that nobody else couldn't have engineered. But we think it's easier for sites to paste in the work that we do.
9:59
[Comment From Keith from CoveritLive]
I think you need to load up a 'Gong Show' sound effect for some of these answers...
10:00
Hah! Really.
10:00
[Comment From Kyle]
What are we talking about?
10:00
Kyle: This is a conference all about: http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9941411-2.html
10:01
Q: Regarding OpenSocial, please talk about enabling third-party sites to be true OSoc containers.
10:02
A: "It's about more than just having frinds with you, it's about having things to do with your friends."
10:03
Any Webmaster can run OSoc apps on their site. Google Friend Connect just makes it easier.
10:04
"We found OpenSocial spec was up to the challenge of supporting the rest of the Web."
10:04
That's it for the questions!
10:04
Standby for wrapup.
10:05
Friend Connect URLs going live tonight.
10:05
Here were the good comments from people in this liveblog that I didn't get to:

10:05
[Comment From Joshua Tretakoff]
Will it allow interoperability with other OpenID services? Specifically, Plaxo?
10:05
[Comment From Chris]
Is Friend Connect for personal use or will it have any application toward business?
10:05
[Comment From James]
But how do you define" interoperable technology"?
10:05
[Comment From Dossy Shiobara]
Friend Connect sounds like "site-to-site messaging"--it's SMTP-over-HTTP all over again.
10:06
[Comment From Vikas Goel]
Would i be able to make my blog intercative through freind connect?
10:06
[Comment From Dossy Shiobara]
How has Google solved the "trust problem" of interoperable data? What happens if an application leaks trusted data? Who owns the liability? The user who naively volunteered the data in the first place? Google? Trust problem is hard to solve. :-)
10:06
That's it!
We're working on more coverage of Google Friend Connect. Stay tuned to Webware!
10:06
Thank you for reading today.              

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