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Thank you, Andy Warhol

Posted by mark.weitzel Nov 28, 2012

Andy Warhol said that everyone is famous for 15 minutes. Today, as the President of the OpenSocial Foundation, I had the opportunity to give a keynote at the OW2 Conference in Paris. You can check out my presentation on slideshare if you want.


OW2 is a group of companies that focus on open source middleware. Right now, their thinking is around legacy JSR based portal middleware. My presentation talked about how the world has moved on from that to a new way of working, where content, and applications, can be intelligently delivered to people through the stream; where it's their social connectedness that really reflects their impact to the organization. Sound familiar?


Because we have a new way of working, we need a new kind of middleware--a social middleware. Fortunately, we have one. OpenSocial is the standard that defines a social middleware platform and open source projects like Apache Shindig and Apache Rave provide, respectively, a reference framework and implementation of the specification. In fact, Jive's application framework is built using Apache Shindig and hsaputra is a committer on the project.


After the presentation, and my participation in the panel discussion, I had the opportunity to show off how Jive uses OpenSocial. I demoed a number of the applications and integrations that we've done, and, needless to say, the !App Experiences blew everyone away. It's one thing to be able to post an activity to the stream, it's quite another to embed in it an application that can be used to interact with the data in context.


Jive's use of OpenSocial through our apps framework continues to raise the bar as to what's possible. The integrations with have with our app partners is representative of the creative ways to build upon and extend the platform. Needless to say, a lot of people walked away excited about OpenSocial--and excited about Jive!

Jive Hack Day

Posted by mark.weitzel Nov 12, 2012


Every quarter, Jive does something that I wish all companies would do: Turn their employees loose to innovate on anything they see fit, any problem that they want to try and solve. At Jive, we call this "hack day". While this started out as primarily an engineering effort, it's spread to other teams and is now something the entire company rallies behind.


Hack day works something like this: Leading up to hack day, you post a blog about the idea you intend to work on. There are no real rules, e.g. you can work on a team, by yourself, make an app, hack the core product, whatever. On Friday morning, you show up and start coding!! You can code as long as you like until 8:30am PT on Monday. That's when we do the demos. Each person/team gets five minutes to show their stuff. So, in just about 30 mintues, I'll start salivating looking at all the cool hacks that people put together. I'm like a kid in a candy store.


Once the demos are complete, there is a team of engineering managers that will evaluate in more details the "top hacks". If your hack is selected, you are given more time to work on it to "productize" your code. There have been some very cool ideas that have come out of hack day that have made it into the product in one form or another. For example, several of the ideas that drive custom streams started out as hack. Many of the hacks make our daily engineering lives easier, e.g. "maven-izing" major parts of the code. Some even made it forms that you would recognize. The native iPhone app, Wikipedia app, and... Jive Anywhere, all started on hack day.


There is an old saying: There's a good book in everyone. Well, I believe there's a good hack in everyone too!

As many of you know, Jive has had a long standing commitment to open technologies. Our engineers are reaching out across communities of developers on open source projects such as JQuery Mobile and Apache Shindig, as well as industry standards, notably, OpenSocial. In fact, Jive has several leadership positions in the OpenSocial Foundation, including myself (President), and a Board member, matt.tucker.deactivated, (Jive co-founder and CTO). OpenSocial is a fantastic organization comprised of companies and individuals that are dedicated to working together to move the social web forward with open, non-proprietary technology.


An example of the collective innovation of the community is OpenSocial's "embedded experiences". Jive calls them "App Experiences" (referred to in the Jive UI as "!App"). What App Experiences allows is for cloud applications to be presented to the user, in context, when they are working in Jive. For example, when creating a document in Jive, you can "App Mention" an application, which will open it directly in the context of the document. Here's a great video that shows App Experiences in action.


In the video, you noticed how an application can be made available to the user wherever they are inside the Jive platform, including the Activity Stream, documents, discussions, etc. All of Jive's App Experiences are based on the OpenSocial standard and built using open source (Apache Shindig). With OpenSocial, we now have a standard application model, a true "container" API that manages their lifecycle, as well as server based integrations to social data, both from the app via JavaScript and REST. Over the last four years we've seen OpenSocial move steadily from the consumer world, where it originated, squarely into the enterprise, where it's established itself as the social middleware platform.


This open innovation is representative of a larger trend: The move from brittle J2EE based portals to dynamic, agile social platforms. In my role as the President of the OpenSocial Foundation, I will be speaking about this transition at OW2 Con in Paris at the end of the month. The OW2 is an open source community dedicated to middleware, application platforms, and cloud computing. Our goal is to work with the OW2 community to bring social into that mission. If you happen to be in Paris, it would be great if you could join us. In fact, Tuesday, November 27th, we will be having a day long workshop dedicated to OpenSocial.


It's an exciting time to be working in the social space. I look forward to working with you to build apps, integrate with Jive, & keep the open, social Web moving forward!

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