Sharing, loosely defined, is one of the key use-cases for web-wide interoperability. It is also central to the discussion of a “more open” alternative to the dominance of a few key players. A truly open content sharing model is more than a domain that starts with “open”, more than deciding whether you are a Twitter person or a Facebook person, and more than an open-source version of a popular commercial service.
Users should be able to share any content to any one of an unbounded number of services, in a completely personalized way. Sharing features should dynamically adapt to support the communities of interest users actually participate in and the tools they use, whatever platforms they are built on, whether or not they exist at design time. Services should be able to receive content from anywhere, in a common way.
AddThis is a business built on sharing, but we believe that basic service interoperability benefits the web at large — services, users, and content providers. I’ll explain our view of this sharing model and, more importantly, how to practically implement it today with a suite of open specifications, including the recently-proposed OExchange.