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August 26, 2008

OAuth: One Step Closer to Convergence

Posted in: Mobile Culture, News, User Insights

OAuthOne of the tenets of modern convergence, or at least our version of it, is that portability of content — across sites, portable devices and applications — is paramount. The usefulness of all that personal information, user generated content and contacts can expand and create new or enhanced services when more of those services open themselves up.

Getting these services (sites) to talk nicely, and securely, to each other is where OAuth comes in. OAuth — the “open authorization” API standard — is essentially a push for the portability of digital content. The effort made headlines because a group of influential parties, Yahoo, Google, AOL, Twitter, Ma.gnolia, Citizen Agency, Wesabe, Pownce and Six Apart have signed an agreement not to sue.

The nuances get a bit technical, but ReadWriteWeb has a good primer on OAuth and a layman’s overview of today’s news.

The upshot is we’ll see more mashups (think Google Reader + Craigslist + Flickr) which is a step in the right direction for content portability across devices and services.

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