McLean, Va. – Google (NASD: GOOG), Microsoft (NASD: MSFT), and a number of
social media sharing services announced on Wednesday that they have teamed to
develop a new protocol that aims to define how an ever-growing array of content
sharing tools interact with various social Web services.

The protocol, known as
OExchange, establishes a common way for services like Google Buzz and Posterous
to receive content, and defines how third-party tools, such as Clearspring’s AddThis,
can find and share that content.

Hooman Radfar, the co-founder and CEO of
Clearspring, said that OExchange "will enable a new generation of
applications that can help better connect people with the communities they are

Other companies supporting the protocol include Digg, Echo,
Instapaper, PrintFriendly, Springpad, StumbleUpon, Webs and yfrog.

Key players
not supporting the protocol include Facebook and Twitter.

"The key to
increasing the amount and quality of sharing online is smoothing out the user
interaction," said Chris Messina, open Web advocate at Google.

simplifying the underlying mechanism for cross-site sharing… people can focus
on what they’re sharing, rather than how."


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