Notes from the ActivityStreams lunch

The ActivityStreams group’s technical efforts to finalize a spec in time for the next OpenSocial event in May are coming along nicely. What about the other elements that make for healthy protocol adoption?

Why am I posting AS updates to the DataPortability blog?

Activity Streams reflects our data portability values, helping users have their data wherever they go online. I’m participating in the AS effort on behalf of the #DPP.

— Phil Wolff, editor

We talked about what it takes to launch the ActivityStrea.ms site. This was about a half hour of our April 1st, 2011, four-hour lunch at Chevy’s in San Francisco during the Web 2.0 Expo.

Activity Streams logoWe started with design questions.

Who is our site’s customer? We tried to categorize by organization size (BigCos, startups, individuals) but this didn’t work. Roles worked better. So far we’re clustering geeks (engineers, technologists) and non-geeks (suits, product managers, designers).

Goals? What might these users want when they visit?

  • Fix my stream. Technical help.
  • Learn. How to, specs, why.
  • Get. SDKs, code samples, books, t-shirts.
  • Discuss. Specs evolution, issues, implementation.
  • Promote my stream. Testimonials, leaderboard.
  • Build tools. Extensions, validators.

Unique Selling Proposition? Why would an organization adopt activity streams? We listed five business drivers:

  1. With AS you have fewer protocols to support. You’ll use the Facebook APIs and then ActivityStreams APIs for everything else social. Benefits: Increased simplicity, lower up-front cost, lower maintenance cost.
  2. AS brings many data sources to your site. This increases your service’s relevance to your customers. It also lowers the time and effort to implement and to minimize the cost of keeping up to date with hundreds of partner APIs.
  3. AS is extensible. You can publish and consume data specific to your problems and markets. This means increased reach for your content, relevance for your users, and fit-to-market for your services.
  4. AS offers better uptake than your custom API. Your updates will be consumable by the entire ecosystem.
  5. AS is proven. A long list of large Internet companies use AS. This lowers engineering and adoption risks for your project.

KPIs. We brainstormed "Measures of Success" for the AS project launch. We might measure:

  • Adoption
    • Registered AS publishers/consumers
    • Developers using the SDK, documentation
    • Validator activity
    • Millions of activities shared
    • github activity
  • Health
    • Problem backlog
  • Community
    • Conversation

Our conversation continues on the Activity Streams mailing list.

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