Home > Archive >  2009 >  April >  20

Twitter and OAuth, interesting brew

Monday, April 20, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named keet.jpgAs far as I know Hueniverse was the first to notice that Twitter's support for OAuth put it in direct competition with Facebook Connect. This is a good thing because two-party systems work, and one-party systems don't.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now it would be great if: Permalink to this paragraph

1. Facebook would make OAuth their default way to hook into their identity system. They have the power to ratify this as a standard. If they do, everyone who follows will have to use OAuth. I'm not crazy about OAuth, but one way of doing something is better than two, no matter how much better the second is. (That's a version of the brilliant always-applicable Postel's Law.) Permalink to this paragraph

2. One or both of them should swallow hard and use some of their investor's money to provide developers with an open storage system to go along with their OAuth support. This is the YouTube-like opportunity of 2009, the first to do it will get all the developers building on their platform and will set a standard as powerful as HTTP (if it's as simple as that, which it could easily be). This goes along with my longtime request for Payloads for Twitter, it's what we're all waiting for, in order for Twitter apps to stop being the demos they are, and start entering killer app territory.  Permalink to this paragraph

The sign of a platform, its gravitas, macho-ness comes from the possibility of developers eclipsing the platform itself with utility and coolness. If you look back at all the really successful platforms of the past they all had this quality.  Permalink to this paragraph

The Apple II had VisiCalc and Choplifter. The IBM PC had Lotus, dBASE, a host of word processors. CP/M had WordStar. Mac had Pagemaker and Quark. The web had Yahoo and Google, Blogger, YouTube, eBay, Amazon, Skype and on and on (probably the biggest and best platform so far).  Permalink to this paragraph

Maybe it won't be Twitter or Facebook, but whoever builds the next consensus platform will have open data storage APIs in addition to identity. It's a vital part of identity. We've been waiting too damned long for this. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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