I think what we're seeing here is a land grab. The need for APIs and data import/export has finally hit mainstream and the big players are now jockeying for position. What's somewhat sad about all this is that the existing open formats are being pretty much ignored. So we have

User Authentication: AuthSub, OpenID, Cardspace, Facebook

App Authentication: AuthSub, BBAuth, Windows Live ID Delegated Auth, oAuth and Facebook. Google has said they'll move from AuthSub to oAuth but the recent Contacts API uses AuthSub.

Contacts Schema and API: Google Contacts API, OpenSocial People API, Live Contacts API, Plaxo Sync API, Yahoo API (unannounced but used by LinkedIn)

Gadgets API: Facebook, OpenSocial

So what we have is the Google led Opensocial consortium trying to grab the Gadget development and Gadget hosting standard. While the MS led Live Contacts consortium try and grab the Authentication and Contacts API standard. But this gets confused because OpenSocial was always supposed to include a RESTful API for contacts and was supposed to use AuthSub for authentication moving to oAuth. OpenSocial is actually in the same space as the MS Live Contacts group, it's just less complete.

OpenSocial has more momentum with more players signed up. Some people like Hi5 are in both camps. MySpace is unilaterally extending the OpenSocial API but are aware of the dangers of doing this and are part of the OS Foundation. Facebook is out on the edge in most of this, but has committed to MS for Contacts.

Any bets on how long this all takes to play out and for the dust to settle? In the short term there's room for a business built on producing libraries to hide all these differences. Small and medium sized web
sites are really going to need that, because implementing all of it takes just too much time/money/resource.

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