Google rushes to open itself up

Mark Zuckerberg, are you feeling scared? Google isn't just moving in on your turf, it's beating you to the punch. By almost a week. Since hiring Brad Fitzpatrick, the creator of LiveJournal and a proponent of open standards, Google has been rumored to be working on tools to let developers build software for multiple social networks. An announcement had been expected next Monday. That would have been a day before Facebook plans to unveil a new ad network to compete with Google's AdSense. Instead of being late, as rumored, Google's early. On Thursday, Google will unveil OpenSocial, a set of common software-development standards that Hi5, Orkut, LinkedIn, Friendster, Ning,, and Oracle have agreed to use. Call them the Google Gang. The Gang, in turn will allow developers like RockYou and iLike to develop one common widget which will work on any of their sites. The goal? To make it unattractive for developers to lock themselves into the Facebook platform. Boo!