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Ecademy - the MySpace 'for professionals' - wants more software developers to build on its Web 2.0 platform. Coinciding with the recent launch of a bunch of new member tools and services, Ecademy's chief technical officer Julian Bond told Reg Developer that he was keen to see development 'on the edge' of the Ecademy platform.

"We have been pushing for more development around the edge of Ecademy with things like Logo APIs and the equivalent of MySpace widgets. We want to see people using data from Ecademy for other Web 2.0 applications," he explained.

Bond said the aim is to expand Ecademy into new areas by cultivating a culture of fringe development. "It is one of the ways that Web 2.0 is different in that web site owners can grow by having a community around their web site. On the surface it seems counter-productive to open up your API to the outside world - but its how you spread your message in Web 2.0."

He cited the examples of Flickr, the popular photography sharing site, and Google Maps which have grown by becoming embedded in other web sites.

Ecademy can offer developers a range of interface protocols to link with its platform including RSS, RDF and Friend of a Friend (FOAF). "We have experimented with microformats such as vCard and bCal but the main way is through FOAF."

Ecademy's new tools follow a similar expansionist philosophy by enabling members to set up their own MySpace or YouTube style sites on Ecademy's platform. Members can set up their own private 'meetings' and 'clubs' within the Ecademy network and invite customers to join. If members can persuade new customers to join Ecademy, they receive a share of the subscription revenue.

Ecademy offers a free two-week trial guest membership. PowerNetworker membership costs £10 + VAT per month and premium BlackStar membership costs £60 + VAT per month plus £1000 joining fee. ®

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