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Better late than never, right?  Well, this may not be posted the minute, day, or week of the actual panel, but it doesn't take away from the fact that there were some great  topics discussed.  So what better way to distill, share, and proliferate those topics than to make a blog post?  (Lunar laser inscription fees apparently are not an "approved budget item", sad_panda)  So with that in mind, let's get this recap blog post started!



Designing Social Applications - Panelists



Discussion Topics:

  • Importance of Standards for the Enterprise, very important!  Allows for IT to maximize ROI on training / knowledge / architectures.
  • OpenSocial - Build on ubiquitous skill-sets, such as HTML5, JS, CSS, and REST Services.  A specification capable of addressing both consumer AND enterprise demands.
    • "It is what Portal should have been" says Ryan Rutan (a.k.a me).  Portal is only as good as the number of systems it interconnects.  Inherent barriers to integration, complex, and isolated stacks have historically constrained portal adoption.  No intrinsic value beyond the proposition of aggregation.
    • Reduces technology barriers and enables small, intermediate, or full immersion into "social" to gauge culture match and success.  Better ROI validation across multiple domains.  Most OpenSocial containers offer functionality in addition to aggregation, such as collaboration.
  • Write-once, deploy everywhere mentality unrealistic.  OpenSocial containers, while technically compliant, are not contextually interchangeable.  Apps tend to behave differently in different social constructs.  As such, it is in the Apps best interest to embrace these contextual differences and optimize accordingly.
  • Natural harmonies exist between architectures of Mobile and OpenSocial.  Acknowledged by OpenSocial 2.0 specification with "mobile" view support, enabling further ROI and low-barrier options for mobile support.
  • OAuth2 - Very important to enterprise readiness (ease of implementation) and general adoption of trusted/secured application development.  Capable of supporting internet, intranet, and mixed-mode trust scenarios.
    • Imperative to separate Authentication and Authorization.  For example, Facebook uses OAuth2 for both.  Works well for Facebook, not so much as a good rule of thumb for traditional enterprise architectures.
  • Gamification - "It's not about making work not suck" (Zickerman)  Appeal to elements of human behavior and the corporate culture.  Mismatches tend to lead to failure.
    • App interactions should be timely, relevant, and highly contextual for viral appeal.
  • What sorts of enterprise applications are a great match for "socialization"?
    • Ask yourself:  How important is it to the business? How bad is the experience for the End Users?  The apps that intersect are likely good candidates.
    • Goal: Improve the 80% use-cases, preserve legacy system as 20% fall back.


As an industry, I feel we are standing at the precipice of change in how we get work done and do business as a whole.  Building and/or leveraging enterprise applications, that incorporate our social-selves, has the potential to create tremendous competitive advantages for companies looking to maximize employee productivity.  (Sounds like a good thing, right?)  Topics such as those listed above should be at the forefront of any forward looking competitive enterprise application strategy.   If not, then now is good time to start playing catch-up. =)


Have a question, opinion, idea, or just general thoughts about  any of the topics discussed?  Feel free to share and keep the discussion going!

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