BestBuy hands out an API for shopping - and that could have big ramifications for shopping & social networks. This might be the first wave of an increased social, semantic web.

Plaxo is big. It seems that I've seen Joseph Smarr (chief smarty-pants at Plaxo) everywhere in the last year. Watching an interesting video (link below) where a few announcements were mentioned:

  • Y! OS - Yahoo! trying to be more open ("Yahoo! Open Strategy). Interesting, but techie.
  • BestBuy launches giftag - a way to get more shopping & gift information shared across websites.

Technically, it's "microformats" and it's about computer having more semantic understanding of content.

But what does it mean?

Developers have proved that they will create interesting & useful on APIs 1. So having APIs & methods that let them do that, makes a difference in what applications that people see and can use.

If we continue down this path of having more data available to developers to do more things with (Facebook? LinkedIn? C'Mon!) - eventually there will be enough data and applications to "tip" and this stuff will start happening for real. And the cross-platform social web will happen.

What kinds of things might be possible?

  • If you are shopping on you can see which of your friends are shopping (if they want to show that information) and what they are looking for: so you can "browse" together.
  • If you send an email in Yahoo! Mail inviting a friend to an all-night cow-tipping party - they can see that email in Facebook and create an event inside Facebook and share it with others.
  • If you add something to your wishlist in (that's where I keep my gift lists) and your birthday is coming up, I can see that new gift while shopping, also see my bank balance (to see that I have enough money) and also see the recent Flickr pictures from when we went on that jungle survival trip for 3 weeks - reminding me how I do owe you for saving my life and I realize that spending $15 on that USB drive shaped like Cabbage that you want is really a cheap repayment of that life debt.


I've been watching XFN & DataPortability & Microformats (all the technology that makes these interesting things possible) for awhile, wondering when it'll start to land. I think that the infrastructure is starting to come. If it continues and, as developers & non-tech businesses jump on board, we'll start to see the fruits of it.


Interesting Video on Y!OS, Bestbuy

BTW, how did these guys get the soundtrack from Ocean's 13? Nice touch.


  1. It means that the tools for developers are bigger and better. Why does Twitter matter at all? Its API let's people build things. Part of why Flickr is the photo sharing site is its API. A big part of Delicious (these last 2 are both owned by Yahoo! now, maybe it's their moment in the sun?). Google Maps? It's API & linking allows it to be used on many websites.

Friday, October 03, 2008, 12:00 AM

tagged: apis, bestbuy, internet, plaxo, semanticweb, socialweb, trends, videos, yahoo