Home Magic Beans Grow Portable Social Networks

Magic Beans Grow Portable Social Networks

You’ve seen the calls for open identity standards and data portability. Well, Social Beans aims to create standardized “skeleton portability” across social media publishing platforms. What is “skeleton portability”? According to co-founder Emre Sokullu, “Comments, forums, wikis, blogs, rating systems, tagging, sharing and bookmarking are all common social features of today’s networking sites”. Despite the fact that these are all common denominators of the web, developers continue to hack together their own proprietary implementations. Says Sokullu, “Social Beans aims to standardize a syntax around common social features including users, profiles, avatars, roles and news feeds.” For developers, it’s a pact for “development portability” or the agreement to follow the same rules for compilers.

Much like the original premise of Ning, Social Beans simplifies the creation of community websites.  However, since it is a portable format, a Social Beans site is not locked in to a single provider. In addition to the Grou.ps platform, the 0.1 version works with MediaWiki and WordPress. A Drupal plugin is also expected for October 2009. 

At this point, Social Beans is extremely experimental and while it’s an interesting concept, the group’s fate lies in 2 simple questions: Is it an easy enough template for non-technical users to adopt it? And perhaps more importantly, will developers build engines to run it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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