Hoh, this is rather old but the W3C had a workshop on the future of social networking and they came up with “review and map existing data formats and protocols used for interoperability among social networks” and crap like “demonstration of a decentralized social network architecture”. Gotta keep in mind that the W3C has to consider things like monetization and profitability for social networks, not just the idealistic communication parts but they’re altogether moving rather slowly. It’s better to have a few growing pains than to keep stalling. They’ve got their incubator group report (source) which I know you don’t want to read, really I’m just putting that there like a bookmark. It does a good job of laying out the problems and, nothing good exists about social networking, so it just lays out the problems. Also OpenID and other universal-login systems: they’re not gonna work. Then the report goes and talks about the individual API’s of the individual social networking companies. I’m sure they have “we need to standardize this by getting the W3C’s ass off the ground” somewhere, but I can’t find it for now. Section 10’s interesting: OneSocialWeb and Diaspora, fancy ideals but really they’re not gonna work in practice. Not unless the W3C lays down concrete must-follow-or-we’ll-shoot-you-in-the-foot specifications for 1) cross-network communication and 2) cross-network authentication. They need to do this now before Facebook replaces its grassy brick walls with concrete.