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Facebook SDK and the Walled Garden

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Facebook SDK and the Walled Garden

Picture of IrvinOriginally, when facebook announced that they were going to release an SDK, and allow for 3rd party devlopment on their platform, I thought it was going to be fully give and take, meaning that it would be as easy to get information from outside, from the larger internet, into facebook as it would be to get it out. It turns out that, may not be the case.

While trying to build an application that would allow users to get their feed, not always mine, I ran across several stumbling blocks. This may indeed be because I am not as knowledgeable as I could be about the facebook platform. Indeed, I have only been working on it for about a week, but I have significant experience with other platform SDK's, enough to figure out when there is something they don't really want for me to do.

In this case, I can understand why they do not want for me to allow someone to write an application to allow users to export their mini feed outside of facebook. There could be all sorts of security and safety ramifications that could arise if someone who had unsavory intentions got access to others' feeds.

Still, that is the risk you run by opening up your platform. I think that what facebook has done is revolutionary relative to their colleagues in the social networking space, however, what they have done is far less than some were touting. Facebook is a walled garden. They are trying to provide everything you will need inside, while keeping you safe from those outside.

AOL tried this with little success. I think that most people are willing to take the risks of living on the open internet, I could be wrong, but it seems that all attempts to protect users from themselves when it comes to the internet fail. I am not trying to suggest that I think facebook will fail, or that I will stop using it or anything, but my experience with the SDK makes me think more about where my data is, and how much access I truly have to it.

I like facebook, but I will have to temper my expectations for it. I guess that it is too high a hope that a company can be completely transparent, and give its users full access to the same data that they are aggregating on them.