Federating social networks means people on different networks following each other. It's driven by the growth of private social networks for businesses; the development of new Open Source tools for social networking; and concerns about privacy and control of your brand in consumer sites.
The panel will discuss advances in the federated social web and the technologies that are making it possible. We'll cover who's implementing it today, and what kind of control a federated model gives companies and individuals. We'll give first steps on what you can do to weave your company and your social media presence into a federated social web.
Free beer! Free kittens! Free software! We all love to get something for free, especially when budgets are tight. We dream of the free product that will, like magic, solve our problems without costing a cent. (If you aren't, your boss probably is.) But free things almost always come with hidden costs, and free software is no different. It won't give you a hangover, or get fleas, but it could eat up your staff time, control your data, or change the rules on you without notice. This was spectacularly clear when Ning eliminated free accounts, leaving users with the choice of paying up, or losing years of hard work. Or when Facebook suddenly turned fans into "likers," forcing page administrators to change their outreach strategy. But not all free software is created equal, and it's not just about open source vs. closed source. Some tools give you great power - but you have to know how to use it. Others limit your options, or ignore what you really need. But some may be just what you're looking for. We'll explore the ins and outs of free and low-cost software, and ask: what does free software really cost?
11th–15th March 2011