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!).
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…
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!