Now Sun has a social network server, too

Sun is making a social network server. Why?

I was surprised to read today that Sun just released SocialSite, an open-source social network server similar to Ringside Networks. Per Patrick Chanezon's blog: "Socialsite is an open source (CDDL/GPL) social network server based on Apache Shindig (Java) that implements the database and User Interface for a full fledge social network. Since it is based on Shindig, it implements OpenSocial."

Sounds great, right? My question? Why does Sun have a social network server. Sun makes great technology - lots of it. Does it make too much?

I don't mean to be critical but I have a hard time wrapping my wee brain around how this fits into the larger Sun story of cloud, storage, identity management, etc. If Sun had a stated policy - as Google does - of allowing employees to tinker on projects that interest them for 20 percent of the time, I wouldn't give this a second thought. But I'm not aware of such a policy at Sun.


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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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