Latest OpenSocial News from GSP West

While there may not be as much buzz about OpenSocial right now as there was at launch, lots of progress is being made by folks inside and outside of Google. This collaborative effort includes teams from Hi5, MySpace, Plaxo, Ning and a variety of other partners. The fruit of many of these efforts are going to start arriving publicly very soon, with major platforms like MySpace, Orkut and Hi5 set to move out of private beta this month and next.

And at last week's O'Reilly Graphing Social Patterns West 2008 in San Diego there were some valuable sessions on social network platforms and OpenSocial. One very good example was a session lead by Google's Patrick Chanezon, Kevin Marks and Chris Schalk as well as Lou Moore from Hi5. As Patrick notes is blog, "It was a great opportunity to have the 3 OpenSocial developer advocates from Google on stage at the same time, usually we all travel to different conferences. I made an introduction about OpenSocial, Chris described the API, showed code and did a demo of PixWall on Orkut, Kevin talked about Shindig and Caja, and demoed Shindig working in the Eclipse debugger." As shown in the slides embedded below the session did indeed cover a lot of ground, from high-level overview to code snippets.

Lou Moore, Hi5's Director of Engineering, highlighted useful, Platform-specific extensions to OpenSocial including functions for things like photos and online presence as well as a simple template/tag Library. One of OpenSocial's central benefits is its ability to help standardize common functionality at one level but still facilitate extensibility on a per-platform basis.

For more on OpenSocial see the OpenSocial spec, our OpenSocial profile, as well as the Caja and Shindig projects. And another good event to get the latest on OpenSocial will surely be Google I/O coming at the end of May in San Francisco.

Be sure to read the next Social article: Yahoo Joining OpenSocial, NYTimes Report