Myspace and Facebook make Data Portability moves – lots more work to be done

May 9, 2008

In the last couple of days data portability and the DataPortability project have been all over the headlines. That’s always a good thing for the cause of open standards and interoperability.

Each announcement has been a small and long-overdue step towards making social network profile data available to other sites in some sort of digestible way.

First, MySpace announced their ‘Data Availability’ push with a series of launch partners, and then, seemingly in response, Facebook announced ‘Facebook Connect’ which is an iteration on their existing APIs to allow 3rd parties to connect and access their user data.

Both moves have rightly been attributed as ‘Data Portability’ plays – but neither of them are true ‘DataPortability’ implementations… yet.

They are each proposing and implementing their own specific mechanisms, policies and technologies for moving the data around, and none of them are allowing true two way sync.

Over the coming months it will be our job, at the DataPortability project, to further refine and ratify the DataPortability Best Practices to provide a complete, end-to-end guide that Facebook, Myspace and others can follow. Once properly implemented, all applications on the web will essentially become part of a friction free inter-operable and two way data layer based on open standards.

It will be up to bloggers and other media outlets to keep the pressure on these players to continue to improve their offerings to achieve true compliance based on community recommendations made through the DataPortability project.

I look forward to the journey and further discussing these issues at the Internet Identity Workshop on Monday May 12 and the 2nd Data Sharing Summit on Thursday May 15.

9 Responses to “Myspace and Facebook make Data Portability moves – lots more work to be done”


  1. Doing it close enough to get media attention and good PR, but bad enough to still force people to use them sounds awfully familiar….

    *sniff* *sniff* ah yes, like good old times – the 90’s.

    The fact that the same tactics are still being employed is kinda depressing. On the other hand, it makes success so much sweeter.

    Hopefully the small players will be able to keep the big ones accountable :)


  2. [...] as stated before, none of these plays are true ‘DataPortability’ implementations. But they are important [...]


  3. Chris,

    I just finished reading ‘Standardization: A Failing Paradigm” by Carl Cargill (Senior Director of Corporation Standards at Sun Microsystems) and Sherri Bolin (The Bolin Group).

    It is a concise, twenty-three page history of standardization efforts in the computer and telecommunication industry leading up to 2004 but nonetheless instructive of what is happening today in the ‘dataportability’ tussle between Facebook, Google, etc.

    While the title sounds dire, it actually provides specific solutions to the problem. Since you are knee-deep in these same issues, I highly recommend that you print out a copy and read it on your next plane flight.

    Here’s a link:

    http://pardalis.squarespace.com/storage/assets/2004_standards_cargill.pdf

    Good luck!


  4. [...] interessante Beitr├Ąge zum Thema: Chris Saad: Myspace and Facebook make Data Portability moves – lots more work to be done Nick: Scoble: freedom fighter or data thief? CNET TV: Social-networking data portability takes [...]


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