The Social Web Working Group will create Recommendation Track deliverables that standardize a common JSON-based syntax for social data, a client-side API, and a Web protocol for federating social information such as status updates.

This should allow Web application developers to embed and facilitate access to social communication on the Web. The client-side API produced by this Working Group should be capable of being deployed in a mobile environment and based on HTML5 and the Open Web Platform. For definitions of terms such as "social" and "activity", please see the W3C Social XG report A Standards-based, Open and Privacy-aware Social Web.

There are a number of use cases that the work of this Working Group will enable, including but not limited to:

  • User control of personal data: Some users would like to have autonomous control over their own social data, and share their data selectively across various systems. For an example (based on the IndieWeb initiative), a user could host their own blog and use federated status updates to both push and pull their social information across a number of different social networking sites.
  • Cross-Organization Ad-hoc Federation: If two organizations wish to co-operate jointly on a venture, they currently face the problem of securely interoperating two vastly different systems with different kinds of access control and messaging systems. An interoperable system that is based on the federation of decentralized status updates and private groups can help two organizations communicate in a decentralized manner.
  • Embedded Experiences: When a user is involved in a social process, often a particular action in a status update may need to cause the triggering of an application. For example, a travel request may need to redirect a user to the company's travel agent. Rather than re-direct the user, this interaction could be securely embedded within page itself.
  • Enterprise Social Business: In any enterprise, different systems need to communicate with each other about the status of various well-defined business processes without having crucial information lost in e-mail. A system built on the federation of decentralized status updates with semantics can help replace email within an enterprise for crucial business processes.

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