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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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The Uses of OExchange

There are two primary uses for the OExchange protocol. For the service provider, it delivers a means of permitting other sites to push content to its site or service. When other sites integrate the service provider’s sharing mechanism, they are sending more unique content to the service each time a user shares it.

For the publisher, it provides a simple means of offering its existing users new ways to share content with their favorite service providers and also attracts new users by pulling them from those services back to the publisher site—and it does all of this in a very standardized way, without the publisher having to integrate sharing methods for each service provider.

For instance, there are a number of “Share to [service]” widget systems currently available that implement the types of systems that OExchange seeks to standardize, such as AddThis (http://www.addthis.com; shown in Figure 10-6) and ShareThis (http://www.sharethis.com).

The AddThis sharing widget

Figure 10-6. The AddThis sharing widget

While these are definitely extreme examples of service integrations, we can see how a publisher site could use the OExchange protocol to discover sharing information about a service provider in order to share its content with that service.

Using systems like OExchange, a site can generate many alternative outlets for its content, sharing out articles or documentation (or anything else it ...

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