Loosely Coupled

Brian Dennis does not buy the claim that social software is loosely coupled.

For a half a minute, I’d bought into loose coupling but realized that many of the services cited (Technorati, Flickr) are even more centralized than USENET ever was.

True, Technorati and Flickr and Audioscrobbler and del.icio.us are each centralized services. But each of these services has APIs and/or XML feeds, and these are commonly used to assemble composite services — Flickr photos posted to a 3rd party weblog, a Technorati query showing the conversation around a particular post, an Audioscrobber RSS feed showing a playlist.
The loose coupling is in the combination of tools, not each tool.

3 thoughts on “Loosely Coupled”

  1. Adina, Nancy White and I discussed this a couple of years ago when she was giving feedback on a presentation I was putting together. She said, and I agreed, that the real character of social software was in the combination of ingredients, and not in any one piece or class of software. I’ve taken this for granted since then (and assumed, evidently incorrectly, that everyone else did, too!)

  2. Social software loosely coupled

    Adina Levin notes, in response to a post by Brian Dennis, that social software is loosely coupled, not within any individual tool, but in the combination of tools (and I would add that this includes tools that link or aggregate…

  3. This is one of the reasons why I think we need a term for it. Which term is not so important. The specific boundaries are not so important (unless you are doing a sociology or market research survey and need to decide what to count).
    But we need to have a word that lets us relate Technorati and Flickr and Bloglines and the rest, and explain why they would be used in combination.

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