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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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What You’ll Learn

This chapter will explore several specifications and protocols that are attempting to take what we currently know about user social graphs and expand it far beyond the bounds of any single site or container. These distributed web frameworks show us how leveraging user interactions with any content on the Web can help us build a rich network of customizations for a person. They allow for a much wider range of social graph development than is possible with traditional social networking containers such as Facebook, YAP, Orkut, and LinkedIn.

These are the topics that we will cover in our exploration:

  • How to use the Open Graph protocol to turn any traditional website into a rich source of entity information.

  • How the Activity Streams specification allows developers to create a unified format for broadcasting user activities to the rest of the Web, and how to determine what information should be displayed in these streams.

  • WebFinger, which lets us use a simple email address to build out an extensive network of entity objects in a social graph.

  • How OExchange defines methodologies that enable us to share any URL with any other service on the Web.

  • PubSubHubbub, which leverages commenting and user feedback on a website and shows us how to build out a network of interconnected syndication sites for that feedback, pushing information from a parent source to a series of child listener sites.

  • How the Salmon protocol expands upon the concepts of PubSubHubbub by enabling us not only to ...

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