DataPortability beyond social networks

May 18, 2008

I’ve heard a lot lately from executives at the highest levels at vendors that do not run large social networks. They might be more traditional media companies, telecommunication companies, device manufactures etc.

There are a few common and resounding themes from those conversations so I thought I would share them here:

  • The issue of data portability has only recently crossed their radar and it’s something they are very keen in getting involved with. They have heard about it either from the a-tier blogs or mainstream publications like the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal.
  • They had heard of OpenID, Microformats or the Semantic Web but never quite understood what the business or user experience imperative was. They have each asked me to pass on my thanks to the DataPortability project for coining a phrase and an organization that has helped to shape the core set of technologies into a cohesive story.
  • They have also expressed a concern that big social networking vendors can not, and should not be able to run the table on what is (and must continue to become) essentially a user-centric solution.
  • They tend to look to the DataPortability project as a sort of independent lobby group that can bring disparate industry players together to create a grass-roots, standards based solution.
  • They have asked how they can help.

I explain to them how the group works, how the standards groups before us have created many of the technologies and how we are proud to lobby on behalf of our community to shape and promote data portability best practices. And then I point them to the ‘Get Involved‘ wiki page.

This is, of course, very gratifying feedback and I look forward to having more conversations with similar organizations in the coming weeks.

6 Responses to “DataPortability beyond social networks”

  1. Justin Davey Says:

    Hey Chris,

    One question? What’s the strategy now that Facebook and Google are starting to flex their arms and control exactly how portable data is? Can an independent group really influence companies such as these with unreal control issues?

  2. Nick Says:

    I have a use case ideas for web applications outside of social networks to apply the data portability stack to. But social networking apps use cases are really the best we to talk about DP for now. Would it spread the cause too thin to bring them up this early in the game?

  3. Chris Saad Says:

    Nick my point with the post was not so much to move beyond the social networking applications, but to encourage people to consider that the major social networks are not the only ones who are interested in the outcomes of the DataPortability project.

    There is a huge range of companies who are interested in becoming part of a web-wide social ecosystem.

    And as you mention, there are other types of data that could eventually become part of the scope of the project – but they are certainly not part of the goal right now.


  4. Chris, For connecting the efforts of Dataportability.org with product supply chain vendors, and supply chain standardization consortia (like EPCglobalinc.org) see “Connecting Portability to Traceability”.

    http://pardalis.squarespace.com/blog/category/portability

    The end-game is technological data ownership that empowers ALL information producers with the right balance of control, visibility and security over they information they produce, create, author, publish, manufacture, draft, own (legally), etc.

    This isn’t just the information age … this is the information PRODUCT age.


  5. […] the describe the value the dataportability movement brings to the enterprise.  Chris has also blogged on this just recently and I have appropriated some of his themes […]


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