Facebook announced yesterday that it is taking a number of dramatic steps that would all add up to serving 1 billion "like" clicks from visitors to sites around the web, within 24 hours. Many people are concerned about Facebook's growing dominance around the web. One group of high-profile New Yorkers has launched OpenLike, a "very alpha alternative to Facebook Like."

Working on the project so far is much-watched blogging investor and startup guy Chris Dixon, Huffington Post co-founder and MIT Media Lab guy Jonah Peretti, Jonathan Glick of Dixon, Conway, Ehrenberg and other VC-blessed TLists, Tom Pinckney who with Dixon both sold SiteAdvisor and founded Hunch.com and MIT grad and Hunch engineer Peter Coles. Dixon said this afternoon that the project is "looking for an authoritative open source person to govern it." (Note: Not all initial participants may agree with our charecterization of the effort. Mr. Peretti has said he does not.)

So the establishment is in Palo Alto and the rock-star insurgents are from the East Coast? Let no one say the Internet is boring.

The lightweight technology at OpenLike is right now just a way for site owners to provide buttons for sharing content on a wide variety of social networks. One line of javascript adds a series of sharing buttons to a site, which the site owner can edit.



Given that there are any number of ways to do more or less this same thing, and that these are very smart people working on this, we're sure there's a lot more in the works. The project describes itself on its site as "an open protocol to allow sharing the things people like in a simple and standard method between web applications."

We'll share more details if and when this project develops.

Related: See also developer Jesse Stay's blog post How Do You Compete With This Beast: Here's How, about long-time open standards community member Phil Windley's new product Kynext. The battle over control or absence of control over the internet is far, far from over. There are lots of people getting ready to step up and challenge Facebook's powerful, seductive, expanding control.