Open Facebook Sandwich

According to The Art of Unix Programming by Eric Steven Raymond, the rules of open-source development are simple:
  1. Let the source be open. Have no secrets. Make the code and the process that produces it public.
  2. Release early, release often.
  3. Reward contribution with praise.
In this case, Facebook deserves some praise: They released their Javascript library so that developers can embed apps in third-party web sites and have greater access the Facebook member and relationship information.

The implications for communities, networks, social enterprise and individuals is huge--access to one of the largest social networking platform in the world. It will be intriguing to see how Google's Open Social grows as a contender.

When Facebook first opened up its API in Fall of 2007, Worldchanging contributor, Jon Lebkowsky, observed that Google's collaboration with social network platforms to create Open Social:

Google's insight was that you could create a standard API that many social sites could adopt, so that developers could build applications to work across platforms. This would presumably stimulate innovations and make them more broadly available – great for users and second tier social networking sites, less great for Facebook (though in my opinion, anything that boosts social networking is good for anyone in that business).
Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider sees the recent decision as another brilliant Facebook move but predicts that Facebook wants to resist going completely "open" and allowing members to export their information and relationships at will.
Facebook might lose its control over its core asset (the billions of relationships among its millions of members, a.k.a., the social graph). This move seems another smart step toward a hybrid strategy: Allow app makers (and Facebook) to extend social-graph functionality to the web, gather more app users, and recruit more members--but retain full control over the social graph itself.