Plaxo gets naked, opens up some source code

A small step for the budding social network's quest to be the anti-Facebook: Plaxo has opened up a portion of its source code dedicated to helping users manage their various social-networking identities.

Contact management site Plaxo, which has begun dabbling in social networking with its new-ish Pulse service, has announced that it has opened up a piece of its source code to developers and anyone else who might want to play around with it. The company has released the code for its new "Online Identity Consolidator," which can automatically discover a user's social-networking accounts across the Web and embed their related RSS feeds on a Plaxo Pulse profile.

It's only a small piece of Plaxo's overall architecture, but considering the service's vocal mission of openness and customizability, we'll likely see more announcements akin to this one--at least we probably ought to.

This is yet another move in Plaxo's conscious self-branding as an "anti-Facebook" with a focus on being open and user-customizable rather than a "walled garden." A release from the company indeed said that Plaxo is working to "open up the social graph," which happens to be one of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's preferred appellations. And, indeed, the go-to point for the new open-source code is opensocialgraph.plaxo.com. It'd be nice to see Plaxo take off on its own rather than promote itself through underhanded comparisons to Facebook, but considering the current climate of Silicon Valley's social-networking scene, perhaps the Facebook comparisons are inevitable.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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