NewsCloud writes "Since last December, Facebook has grown from 12 to 47 million users and third-party developers have launched more than 6,000 applications with its API. While privacy advocates have been concerned about Google for the past several years, most of us are just beginning to comprehend Facebook's growing impact on who, when, what and how we connect with friends. Microsoft's recent $240 million investment in the company gives it all the capital it needs for further growth. Last August, Wired published two unusual stories describing how consumers might link together a variety of third-party services to emulate Facebook, and ultimately calling on the open-source software community to build alternatives to the service. Inspired in part by Wired, I've posted some ideas describing what would be needed for an open source architecture for social networking."