Open Web Foundation

July 23, 2008

Tomorrow, David Recordon will announce the Open Data Foundation at OSCON Open Web Foundation at OSCON.

As a co-founder of the DataPortability project, I’d like to be the first to welcome the Open Web Foundation to the conversation that was crystallized by the project early this year.

It seems like the foundation is well placed to provide a much needed level of oversight and legal protection for fledgling open standards. These standards will ultimately contribute to the ‘data portability’ vision of an inter-operable, standards-based web of data. In our investigations of the various standards, this has been a key concern for us and we feel encouraged people are stepping up to remove this potential roadblock. there is enormous value in getting more people involved in working towards a vision we all share, and for that reason I am genuinely excited by this development.

Two points to note however. I have always had concerns about using the term ‘Open’ when describing data – it sometimes invokes fears of a lack of privacy. Also, exclusive councils are somewhat of a dichotomy which don’t seem to be in keeping in dealing with ‘open’ technologies. Both these concerns, however, should not overshadow the value of a group of people working towards a vision we all share. For example I’d hope that the group is open to standards not developed by the founding individuals and companies.

We believe that governance is at the center of making these kinds of initiatives truly open and aligned with our shared visions of an open web. As such the DataPortability Project has ratified a radical new governance model that allows maximum participation while maintaining agility and accountability. This consolidates months of experience in managing a large, high-profile community, to go beyond a “benelovent dictatorship” or smoke filled rooms towards total transparency and community participation.

I have personally received a number of requests from other groups to learn from our model. With this in mind, I think there would be value in abstracting our governance model and providing it as a sort of ‘open source’ implementation of Roberts Rules for distributed, asynchronous groups that other global and transparent projects could use and contribute to.

Further, as per our governance framework, we have introduce a deliverable focused “Taskforce” model, whereby anyone in the community can create a Taskforce that fits with the goals of the DataPortability project to promote data portability in the community. Some Taskforces can be made official by the Steering group and will, as such, become responsible for official deliverables of the DataPortability Project.

So far a ‘Vision’ Taskforce has been created to describe our definition of ‘Data Portability’. Also a ‘Status Grid’ Taskforce to develop and maintain a grid of vendor compliance with various open philosophies. This was inspired by Marc Canter at the Data Sharing Summit and will be lead by Daniela Barbosa. We expect a number of new Taskforces to spring up with the common goal of promoting data portability throughout the technical and mainstream communities.

It’s exciting times for the web. We are watching the dawn of the data web emerge before our eyes, which is finally bringing together multiple efforts under simple memes to capture the attention of the mainstream. It will have as profound an impact on the world as the document web and social web before it.

I look forward to continuing the journey with all of you.

14 Responses to “Open Web Foundation”

  1. First time I’ve heard that I’m announcing the Open Data Foundation at OSCON tomorrow…

  2. […] Saad, a co-founder of the Data Portability project has posted that tomorrow at OSCON a new Open Data Foundation will be announced by David Recordon and […]

  3. Imagine where we would be now if the offer to become a wc3 incubatee had have been accepted.

    instead DP is pioneering on several fronts, not just the DP one. 🙂

    I look forward to seeing how the ODF deals with the issues of governance.

  4. […] Chris Saad has announced that the Open Web Foundation is being set up to aid in the governance of data portability technologies on his blog. […]

  5. […] Portabilityの共同創始者Chris Saadが投稿した記事によれば、明日OSCONにおいて、David RecordanらがOpen Data Web […]

  6. vd Says:

    And Open *Mobile* Data Foundation ? Or will be a chapter there for mobile data ?

  7. […] Saad, a co-founder of the Data Portability project has posted that tomorrow at OSCON a new Open Data Web Foundation will be announced by David Recordon and […]

  8. […] Content Architecture, TechCrunch Chris Saad, a co-founder of the Data Portability project has posted that tomorrow at OSCON a new Open Data Web Foundation will be announced by David Recordon and […]

  9. G|oS|co Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I thought I posted here already. I have been meaning to ask, who are the other co-founders as I have not had much lucky finding them.



  10. John,

    The Co-founders of the DataPortability Project are as follows:
    Elias Bizannes
    Ben Metcalfe
    Chris Saad
    Daniela Barbosa
    Paul Jones
    Marjolein Hoestra
    Ashley Angell

    Although early influencers and obviously thought leaders in the early success of the DataPortability project we now also have a Steering Committee of 12 volunteered individuals who are committed to the success of the project and the evolution of Data Portability for the User,Developers and the Vendor/Companies.

    Please keep in mind that as co-founders and steering committee members we are also individuals and therefore we also have a personal voice and often speak out on the subject based on our personal thoughts and beliefs. For example this post was Chris’s personal welcome and thoughts, many that i think that members of the steering committee support. I certainly do after i read the actual announcement.

    Like Chris ends his post this is a very exciting time for the web, the DP Project made a lot of headway in the marketplace that we are all very happy with but we understand that we have a lot more to do. With our recent structure changes which will enable us to be more agile and decisive in our decision making processes, i look forward to continuing to push data portability with users, others organizations that work on similar issues and the companies/vendors.

    The key to the DataPortability Project’s success to date and what i see in the future is that we are an open organization with what i think is an amazing structure and that anyone regardless of how technically savy or non-techie can join to make an impact- and that i think is something that the technical world needs.

  11. […] also in a blog post, Chris Saad, co-director of the DataPortability project, […]

  12. […] Saad, un co-fundador del proyecto Data Portability (Portabilidad de información) ha publicado que mañana David Recordon y otros anunciarán en OSCON una nueva Fundación de red […]

  13. […] Saad, a co-founder of the Data Portability project has posted that tomorrow at OSCON a new Open Data Web Foundation will be announced by David Recordon and […]

  14. […] Portabilityの共同創始者Chris Saadが投稿した記事によれば、明日OSCONにおいて、David RecordanらがOpen Data Web […]

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