It’s about time for this! Google Friend Connect is out (sorta, you can ask to get to try it out as I just have).
I wrote in “Open (source)ing the doors for contributor-run digital libraries.[PDF]” Communications of the ACM. Volume 44 , Issue 5 (May 2001) and in a Japanese edition [PDF] in 2003 that “By adopting not only the open-source tools, but also the open-source philosophy encouraging community interaction and contributor involvement, digital libraries can open new horizons to new communities as well as greatly improve traditional services.”
While GFC doesn’t necessarily fully fulfill the open source software side of the equation, it does allow for stronger community interaction and contributor involvement including ways to get at trust and rating and other social tools to help as I wrote “produce real and effective collections and more importantly real and effective communities in the best democratic sense.”
If implemented correctly, GFC should work as a reverse Ning. Ning wants you to build your network on their site-hosting service. A great and flexible platform and good for many people, but suppose you already had a very effective and broad-ranging site like ibiblio.org. Then, it would seem, you’d rather add the social aspects to your site.
This does all that I was asking for for ibiblio.org over 8 years ago! Yes, we’ve applied for the preview release. I’ll let you know if we get it — or when we get it.
And I have some ideas for some features to add…