Federal Facebook

So Facebook Connect is expanding, as a whole raft of articles and posts reported. The news becomes rather more interesting when put in context. Om uses the Federate or Aggregate? context. Facebook Connect is an attempt to make Facebook the capital of the federation.

Facebook Connect, which was announced in May and is being rolled out this week, allows you to use your Facebook login to access Facebook’s partner web sites, then broadcast what you are doing on those sites to everyone on Facebook.

Other federal capital candidates include Google Friend Connect. Taking another approach is the “small army of startups, such as FriendFeed… that want to act as a dashboard for your entire social-web infrastructure.”

Another context for the Facebook Connect ambitions is provided by the story of Facebook’s having to tell some of its users that their email notification settings had been lost. Erick at TechCrunch advises: Don’t put anything on Facebook you’d hate to lose (or reveal to the world, for that matter).

That second context is one of the things making me reluctant to make Facebook the capital of my sprawling social network territory.

Data Wallability

Data Portability is the option to use your personal data between trusted applications and vendors. That’s not as clear as it should be, but it does imply that you own the data, the option to use it, and the decisions about trust.

So what options do vendors have? According to Mike Arrington, they can make announcements about Data Portability while fighting for control of your data, so that Data Portability is the new walled garden.

You can get a more concrete and interactive view of vendor options by playing the game hosted at ReadWriteWeb:

you can choose to play the role of any of 5 different players: Google, MySpace, Microsoft, the Data Portability Project, or Facebook. You can then predict what will happen, or voice your opinion about what should happen. Or both.

These players will no doubt make further moves next week. More then.