Difference between walled gardens and cross-posting
I like pretty much everything Marc touches on here in his comments on a post that I missed. In the projects I have worked on internally I have been pushing the same ideas as he points out when it comes to cross posting content, what is especially relevant is that Orange has no strict walled garden on it’s mobile portal, you can go where you like (Orange Safeguard allowing) but there are still no easy to use tools for cross posting despite having blog and photo products on the market, something which is going to have to change if , dare i use the term, we are ever going to see Orange2.0, I leave the rest to the post below to spell it out….
This post by Liz Gannes caught my eye – as we prepare for the upcoming Web 2.0 conference. Its time we surfaced lots of efforts that have been going on behind the scenes – which have brought us to where we are today. Its also time we dealt with these two different states and verbs:
What I’m going to discuss is the world of ‘cross-posting’ and where it stands. DIGG popularized this idea of havinga button attached to a post, so folks could easily DIGG IT. Del.icio.us also uses this technique – to create bookmarks. Wikipedia refers to sending the same message to multiple message boards, but I’m using it to refer to sending the same MEDIA to multiple places which can store media.
Lucas Gonze and Broadband Mechanics tried to create an effort toenable folks to ‘ReBlog’ content – and send it to wherever they wanted it to go. The idea is that anyone can define what tool they wish to use, instead of being locked into the tool that’s associated with the button.
But the term ‘ReBlog’ was taken, and RedirectThis has not taken off. But it’s still certainly possible to have the industry unite around universal buttons – which do whatever the user wants them to do, rather than have this plethora of buttons weigh down the bottom of every post.
We put in a feature into PeopleAggregator, which we call a ‘toothbrush, which collapses the bottom area of a post, to hide all that shit from people – asthe post’scomments, tags, report abuse, author, time, date, permalink, edit button – all add up to a whole lot of stuff. Now add onto that – all these’routing’ buttons and it’s quickly getting out of control.
So here’s Liz’s post – and then I’ll comment on it below:
Written by Liz Gannes–
OK – so firstof all – I disagree with Liz about calling ‘displaying externally stored media embedded intoa social network page’ – as a walled garden effort. In fact this is almost exactly the opposite effect.
A walled garden effect is when the data is stored internally and locked in, so that it’s hard (or sometimes impossible) to move it outside again. The majority of end-users aren’t sophisticated enough to technically do that and deal with all the challenges – thus the ‘walled garden’ effect.
But what Facebook is doing is EXACTLY the right thing!
They’re enabling folks to keep their data stored externally – but yet display it seamlessly into the environment they wish to display that media. I don’t see why this is a bad thing and should NOT be called ‘walled garden’.
This is what I call ‘cross-posting’.
There are two ways this effect is implemented:
1. Thesource location of the media is maintained, yet a ‘copy’ of the media is sent to the destination environment. This can obviously get out of control with the size of video files, but sites seem to not care about this. Needless to say once that media ‘enters the realm’ of this new destination system, it’s THEIRS now! mwah hah hah hah – ALL theirs!
2. A URL link to the media is attached to the page – and a thumbnail of the video is then displayed. Then when a page viewer clicks on the thumbnail – the video magically plays inside that page, while streaming from it’s original source location. This is the way of the future.
The subtle issue here is the difference between a walled garden, which locks data in – and the conscious act of someone cross-posting to as many locations as they see fit, while maintaining the ‘master’ video – as some ’source location. This is what I do – and have been experimenting with – for over a year now.
I like to post videos onto VOX – as I know Anil, Barak, Andrew and the Trotts will see it. I always try to put up some videos at YouTube, hoping that theHill88 will discover me one day. Other videos get sent to blip.tv – so I can play with their extensive cross-posting functionality and controls. And of course – I’m putting stuff up at PeopleAggregator and my WordPress blog – as well.
I am acting like a typical user of the future will act.
But instead of it being just me, now imagine a typical family – where sis is upstairs working on her homework, Dad is in the den and Mom at work and the whole family wants to share media, post about their vacation, plan fund raisers or participate in community activities (REAL communities – not cyber ones!)
I believe that folks should be able to store their media anywhere – but yet post it anywhere – as well. That’s the future.
We’re not there yettoday and unfortunately YouTube does not expose the actual video’s URL, but only the URL of the page where the video resides on. This then requires the person cross-posting to attach the URL of the page and not the video so when a viewer clicks on the thumbnail, they are sent back to that YouTube source page – to view the video. Obviously great for YouTube – just a shitty experience for the rest of us.
I do agree with Liz that this effort to get Facebook’s ‘posting button’ out there is a way for Facebook to be flexing their muscles and showing their power – without a big parent. Notice that MySpace doesn’t do this. It’s also significant that YouTube is not included in this effort. All of this subtle, open but not quite all the way open efforts DO affect us human/end-users and I want to point to blip.tv – as the RIGHT way to do it.
You see – at the end of the day – one vendor cannot dictate or control where humans store their stuff. And the ‘right’ way to do it (IMHO) is to BOTH enable folks to easily store their stuff (from PC’s, mobile, hand helds, videogame consoles, TV sets, their car, school, home, the office) – anywhere they want to – but also allow them to LINK or cross-post that content – to and from any OTHER site/vendor – as well.
Does that make sense?
You have to at the SAME time – enable a walled garden, if the user so chooses, but also enable them to link to their conternt – which is stored somewhere else.
To get there – we need standards which will empower us to cross-post and pick and choose which tool to use in which situation. And when I say ‘tool’ – what I mean is the site – the vendor – the platform.
To me – it’s great that Facebook is opening up and letting others embed their media into their pages.
Its also great that Facebook is opening up and letting non-students into their system. Some may disagree, but it certainly increases Facebook’s valuation and connects people who were locked out – to connect to students around the world. I won’t touch the issue of interconnecting networks – here – but lets just say that ‘each college/university’ is a network and each network should be able to connect to other networks, both internally and externally – just as easily.
So why am I bringing this all up -now?
Cause one of the things AOL pays me to do is to try and get them involved in various ‘open standards’. So I went to Yahoo, SixApart and others and said ‘look – AOL is willing to support a ‘UNIVERSAL BLOG THIS BUTTON’, so if you folks come on board, we can jump start a new standard – right quick.’ That was at last year’s Web 2.0.
So here we are – a year later – and yet nothing has happened. This is an example where something is technically possible, but where politics are 99% of the challenge.
So lets all get together – while holding those Yahoo neon glowing martini glasses – and work this out.
(Via Marc’s Voice.)