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As you will know, I’ve been working with MySpace for a number of months on a number of initiatives to help them evolve into a far more open platform.

Following on from the launch of the developer platform and REST APIs, I’m really excited to announce that MySpace has joined the DataPortability Initiative. In addition MySpace has also announced it’s first implementation in this area, which will making it’s profile data available for those to consume on other websites. From the press release:

“MySpace … will be allowing users to dynamically share the content and data of their choosing including: (1) Publicly available basic profile information, (2) MySpace photos, (3) MySpaceTV videos, and (4) friend networks. Integration of the Data Availability project will roll to MySpace users and participating Websites in the coming weeks.”

MySpace’s full press release is on Alley Insider. DataPortability’s press release is here.

Whilst a number of high-profile launch partners have been announced (Yahoo!, eBay and Twitter), it’s worth point out that access to this project will be available to everyone who agrees to the T’s & C’s.

(UPDATE: A number of people are speculating that this is a biz-dev thing only for agreed partners and that it may not be using agreed standards, etc(eg here). I just want to be really clear: this is NOT A BIZ DEV DEAL, this is open to everyone. The launch partners are simple there to demonstrate the complete value at both ends and help MySpace test the implementation. And as mentioned in the press release, this is all using oAuth for authentication and will be working with DataPortability on standards.)

As a co-founder of the DataPortability Initiative I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and able to help guide it from the inside.

Caroline McCarthy of News.com has described this as “a huge deal” and of course I agree. In the media call she asked MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe whether Facebook would be able to participated and he responded:

“This project is open to any site out there that wants to work with us so we’re happy to work with Facebook if they want to join up with us on this project.”

This is not the same MySpace I took on as a client 6 months ago. Significant and exciting things are happening at MySpace and it’s great to be a part of it.

If you have comments or ideas and suggestions for things you want to see at MySpace, please let me know: bmetcalfe {at} myspace {dot} com

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Just a quick note to say that the MySpace Developer Platform, which went live to developers last month, is now live to ‘regular’ users too.

That means anyone can add an app to their MySpace profile or homepage.

Congrats to everyone in the team who’ve worked some looooooong hours to get this up. Well done everyone!

Marshall Kirkpatrick has a great overview of today’s announcement and the platform:

A few key points of differentiation between MySpace, other OpenSocial “containers” and Facebook are as follows:

  • Apps on the Home page.
    I believe that one of the biggest reasons Facebook apps have such low user engagement numbers is because they can’t enter the key space of the user admin page. That’s where users live, not on their own public facing profile pages. MySpace is hoping to go so far as to create an “everyperson’s Netvibes/PageFlakes/MyYahoo” experience.
  • Custom namespaces
    MySpace has a long list of custom namespaces that aren’t available in OpenSocial’s most basic structure. That’s the case with almost all OpenSocial implementations, we hear, and it will be interesting to see how real the promise of interoperability is.
  • Synchronous communication
    It may not be XMPP but the MySpace app namespace ONLINE_FRIENDS appears to let app developers access the sub-list of a user’s friends who are actively online. Many social activities are best done in real time (like asking for money via Lending Club? maybe not) and we’ll be interested to see what apps make use of this option.
  • OAuth support
    MySpace users are going to be happy to share their contacts and info from other applications off-site with apps on the MySpace platform because they’ll be able to do so securely. MySpace is about to become the biggest use-case of the oAuth authentication protocol, something many sites are scrambling to implement. Will app developers put this to use? We’ll see.

More on Read/WriteWeb.com and also on Mashable.

(Disclosure: I work with the MySpace Developer Platform team)

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(disclosure: I work with MySpace on their platform)

Having just launched the MySpace Developer Platform, including support for OpenSocial, MySpace are holding the first of their MySpace devJam events next week: Saturday March 1st at MySpace San Francisco (upcoming).

MySpace logo

devJams are MySpace’s take on popular events such as Yahoo!’s Hackday series and Google’s Hackathons. The day will kick-off with some tutorials and code walk-throughs led by the lead architects of the MySpace Developer Platform. Then after lunch it’s striaght down to good-old hacking, coding and devJammin’.

As you would expect they’ll be an opportunity at the end of the day to demo your app and perhaps even win some cool prizes.

But if you don’t get your app finished that day, MySpace will be holding a series of regular “Show-n-Tell Evenings” at MySpace San Francisco for you to come back to and ask questions of the MySpace Development Team and demo your app.

If you can’t make it to San Francisco on the 1st March, fear not as MySpace will be doing them all over the country world over the coming months. The next one is in Seattle, WA on the 15th March (Upcoming).

In the meantime, tell MySpace where you want the next devJams to be held!

MySpace devJam: San Francisco, March 1st

MySpace devJam: Seattle, March 15th

[Blog post on MySpace Developer Platform blog]

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You’d have to be under a pretty big rock not to have heard about the layoffs at Yahoo! today. Many people, from an Integrated Campaign Strategy Manager through to popular blogger Susan Mernit were ‘impacted’, as the internal memo was apparently worded. Even Brickhouse lost its head.

On the one hand, being given a pink slip is no doubt destabilizing and scary. However with Yahoo! on your resume and the rest of the industry still doing relatively well, I’m pretty sure most ex-Yahoo’s will find something to move onto.

MySpace logo

And as one company downsizes another upsizes – and so I guess this is as good as any opportunity to help get the word out that MySpace is hiring like mad for it’s funky new San Francisco office in South Park.

Engineers, Product Managers, UI Designers, Biz Dev, Project Management… you name it. There are some sample job reqs, but to be honest if you’re looking for such positions I’d rather just put you in contact with the right people at MySpace because we all know that at this level it’s about getting good people on board as much as it is defining specific roles.

MySpace is doing some really interesting work. Some people I talk to seem to have pre-conceived notions about the company, which I understand. But I feel it’s worth re-evaluating. The Developer Platform that just launched is a leading example of the level of openness, transparency and conversation MySpace is seeking with its audience.

And just today I saw the designs of something truly amazing that will hit your screens in the coming months. Like ground-breaking stuff.

If you got laid off from Yahoo! today, or are concerned you might be next then why not at least check out what MySpace is up to? Of course that offer extends to anyone who’s getting bored somewhere and wants to feel the fire in their belly again, and work with others of the same ilk.

Please hit me up with an email and your resume – my email address at MySpace is bmetcalfe {at} myspace.com.

(disclosure, I work with MySpace – but that’s hopefully pretty evident!)

UPDATE… Note to journalists/reporters/pro-bloggers: I do not have any comment to make on the reports of discussions between Yahoo!/News Corp (parent company to MySpace) – nor would I be authorized to do so if I did. Please don’t email or call me on this!

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When I moved to San Francisco, just over a year ago, I came with three intentions:

  • To get further involved in social software, ideally social networking
  • To continue to my interest in platforms and API’s
  • To get involved with start-ups

I’ve already been working API stuff with Orange Labs, but with the two announcements I’ve got this week, I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to achieve all my three goals (gosh, I’m going to need to think of three more!).

MySpace comes to San Francisco

So first up, I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I’m going to be working with MySpace to help advise them with their platform project(s). It’s an incredible, much talked about project (sometimes inaccurately), and I’m honored to have been invited to work on this with them.

MySpace approached me a few months back to see whether I’d be interested in working with them on this, and we’ve been discussing it for some time since. During that period they put their hat into the Google OpenSocial ring, which made the opportunity even more interesting!

BTW: that’s why you’ve not read anything about OpenSocial from me on the blog. I’m still yet to find out how OpenSocial fits into MySpace’s wider strategy – but perhaps that’s something I’ll be working with them to work out – which is why I can’t really about it talk much until I know what’s what.

So, there have already been raised eyebrows from a couple of close confidants upon informing them of my decision to work with MySpace, a subsidiary of Fox/News International, especially as I’ve always aligned myself with the values of the BBC. In the past, I’ve gone on record to say I’m not a fan of Fox News’s agenda and it’s one of the reasons I have decided not to own a TV here in the USA.

My reasons for taking on this gig are twofold: Firstly, I’m confident that MySpace is sufficiently separate to Fox News and no part of my contract involves working on anything to do with Fox News – in fact Fox News is an entirely different company as I understand it. Secondly, I’m particularly minded the project I’ve been asked to work on has values centered on open data and 3rd-party community development – values which I hold dear.

Passing up this contract would be a missed opportunity to help MySpace offer its 200m+ users the kinds of platform features we all want to see out of our chosen social networks.

When it comes to opportunities around platforms, MySpace really has been the 800lb gorilla in the social networking corner and it is tremendously exciting to think about the shear potential this project could have upon the social networking landscape.

I’m going to be working with MySpace 4 days a week out of their brand new San Francisco office, with one of those days spent down at MySpace HQ in Beverley Hills.

But there’s more…

GO WEST!!!

I’m also thrilled to be in final negotiations with a white-hot startup, recently announced on TechCrunch. The idea is fantastic, the team is fantastic and it also looks to be a lot of fun.

I’m going to be advising them 1 day a week on a number of things – but this time not so much platform stuff but more general product development and perhaps a bit of evangelism to-boot. I can’t go into specifics otherwise it might identify the company in question – which I don’t want to do until everything is signed.

However, what I will say is that I’m simply stoked at the thought of working with these guys.

–==–

I shall be continuing my independent consultant status here in USA, which means I shall be consulting for both companies on a contract basis rather than taking employment with either company. I shall be concluding my consultancy with Orange Labs next week – I shall miss the team there, you guys rock!

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