Plaxo Ups the “Open” Ante; Adds Lifestreaming Widget

Opening up the social networks has suddenly become a mainstream topic. At the Web 2.0 Summit, Mark Zuckerberg finally admitted that Facebook’s current “walled garden” approach is neither sustainable nor right.  From ZDnet: 

Marc Canter asked Zuckerberg about allowing users to export their Facebook data. “It’s a flaw in the system right now,” Zuckerberg said. He didn’t offer any time frame for fixing the “flaw.” 

I like how Marc defines “open.” From Wired blogs: 

quoth Canter, “This is a two way street. We have to both suck and spit. 

With that out of the way, I am pleased to report that Plaxo has taken its openness to the next level, adding a new “lifestreaming widget” to its Pulse service, that lets users take the aggregated stream of their feeds and “spit” it out to any web page that allows javascript. (Alas, I just discovered a few hours ago that WordPress-hosted blogs, such as this one, do not allow javascript. Okay, that is lame.) 

This is a second way Pulse “spits.” It joins another option that has been live for several weeks; Pulse offers it users RSS feeds of the streams they receive and the stream they create, co-mingled or separate, for consumption via any RSS reader. 

What’s in my lifestream? The content I create via del.icio.us, Digg, Flickr, and Twitter. And this blog. What could be in your lifestream? The content you create on those services and dozens of others, including Facebook (Notes and Posted Items), MySpace, Jaiku, Last.fm, and Amazon (your Wish List). 

How hard is it to set up? Super easy. You just cut-and-paste one javascript snippet into any web page, and you’re good to go.

Check out Michael Arrington’s coverage over at TechCrunch.

Plaxo’s press release is here.

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