Big changes in the social web

Delicious has added the ability to see a chart of when a link was saved and by how many people at any given time as well as other changes that make it easier to get a sense of how a link was shared, by whom and other data.

Twitter will soon roll out functionality that allows users to create their own lists, something that some APIs have allowed you to do but which has been missing from the service itself.

Facebook has made adding their Connect tool to any website a simple three-step process, something that lowers the bar to integrating that function significantly and brings with it the possibility for even broader adoption.

Google is now letting its YouTube Content ID partners – those companies that have claimed ownership of videos uploaded by others – view the entire set of metrics around the videos they’ve claimed, not just the limited data set they previously had access to.

The increased possibilities for activity on social networks and via mobile devices has, to some extent, meant that virtual worlds haven’t lived up to their initial hype (Mediaweek, 10/5/09). There’s still some solid stuff you can do there and usage is much higher when you’re talking younger demographics, but the boom of building of such worlds has slowed and some big-splash type players now seem to be setting the stage for dropping out.

Lastly, there’s Google SideWiki. While the notion of a universal commenting system sounds great in theory, I’m concerned because sometimes there’s a real reason to not allow comments on a blog or other website, especially when we’re talking about a company project. And maintaining that level of control is the only thing that overcomes some stakeholder fears over launching one. So removing that, as Mack says, really does change your world.

I guess I just feel like this is a decision that wasn’t Google’s to make. There are some overblown fears about “landgrabs” and such and there are legitimate problems this presents, which is, I think, what has me upset. It’s the first time a Google product has launched – at least that I can remember – and I’ve only thought of how this makes my life more difficult. Site owners should be able to set their own policies and not have them over-ruled by Google.

Imagine if Google announced tomorrow it were to announce tomorrow that it had decided to ignore the Robots.txt file on websites and crawl them anyway, despite the site owner’s wishes. That would be bad, right? Because it goes against a site owner’s decision. Same with SideWiki comments on a blog that purposely does not allow comments on articles, posts or other content.