Update: Data Availability is not Data Portability or: Looking to BEATNIK
Just a quick round-up and update to yesterday’s post about the data hippie bandwagon: TechCrunch wrote a piece in which “data portability” is referred to as “The New Walled Garden” (strictly speaking, I guess the title should have read “data availability is the new walled garden”):
Internet giants know that the days of getting you to spend all of your time inside their walled gardens are over. So the next best thing is to at least maintain as much data about the user as possible, and make sure they identify with your brand while they are out there not being on your site. […]
I think Facebookâ€™s intentions arenâ€™t to let users get data out of the network until Facebook is absolutely forced to do so, and then only on Facebookâ€™s terms (see Facebook Connect). The fact is, this isnâ€™t Facebookâ€™s data. Itâ€™s my data. And if I give Google permission to do stuff with it, Iâ€™m damned well within my rights to do so. By blocking Google, Facebook has blocked ME. And that, frankly, kind of frustrates me. Let me put this another way. How dare Facebook tell ME that I cannot give Google access to this data!
David Recordon from O’Reilly also comes to the conclusion that “MySpace’s Data Availability is not Data Portability.”
At the end of the day it seems that MySpace is trying to become a large centralized profile repository on the internet. One where information might be available but certainly not allowed to be actually moved outside the network’s walls. A good try, but just as no one would like Microsoft own identity for the entire web with Passport I fail to see how others will let MySpace own all of the profiles.
How long until a social networking site comes up with TRULY user-maintained and user-owned, FOAF-based identity management tools, harnessing similar methods such as Henry Story‘s BEATNIK semantic address book project?