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Call me stupid but I thought when we speak of "Data Portability" we mean the ability to click a button that says Export on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, etc. and then upload that data set to another network. We would be able to apply filters to the data (i.e. export only women 28-32, men with one cat, etc.).
Apparently I am wrong, at least from the point that Plaxo chief platform architect Joseph Smarr believes. Found via Valleywag, Smarr runs on 45RPM explaining how data portability works. You know Plaxo, they are the company that hired a world-famous video blogger to hack into Facebook and get data on the blogger’s contacts. Check out the video for Smarr’s definition of Data Portability below.
So help me out here, which definition is correct? If it’s Smarr’s then what good does it do if we need to actually interface into Facebook’s system to grab the friends. I get the idea that if left in Facebook, the data will be up-to-date but if Facebook fails, then what? Maybe we need to create OpenFriend :)
I had a lengthy conversation this morning with Steve Poland about Robert Scoble getting banned from Facebook. Apparently Scoble was banned due to "stealing" user info and taking it outside the Facebook network. What we discussed was whether Robert had a right to take my data outside of Facebook without my permission – hence the stealing in quotes. Robert claims that he only took "Names and email address and birthday" from Facebook and planted it into some new function that Robert is testing for Plaxo.
During our conversation, Steve said, "when you add someone as a friend, that friend isn’t saying, "yeah, and feel free to export this info and use elsewhere".
When I think of open, I initially think of being able to take my data with me. My blog entries, my funwall posts, my links, my photos, etc. But to take my friend’s data seems to start a different conversation around openness. How much data is too much? Should Scoble be allowed to take my name/email and birthdate without my permission? For an identity hacker, that’s all they need to be able to wipe a person’s life which takes years to repair.
How does today’s news change our views on open social graph/networks? Looks like we need levels of openness with regards to social networks.
Here are some thought starters:
- If a friend can see it (re: data point), is it theirs to take?
- Should I be able to export my posts on other people’s network page?
- Should I be able to export posts left for me by others? What amount of information should a friend be able to take about me when they leave a network, if any?
Editor’s note: I met the guys from BeenVerified at the NYC MatchupCamp last month. We discussed identity and they mentioned they would be attending the IIW. I asked if they would be interested in writing a recap post for all of the awesome CN readers and they agreed. Never did I expect so much awesome video coverage. I will be meeting them next week to learn more about BeenVerified. Thanks guys!
After a fascinating, information overloading, three days at The IIW (Internet Identity Workshop) in Mountain View, California, we are finally back in NYC. The workshop was a conglomerate, a who’s who; of some the brightest minds in Internet Identity Technology from across the globe. There were representatives from every end of the digital spectrum; from non-profits to some of the largest corporations in the world, all collaborating in synergy to discuss how to advance online identity. Ultimately with everyone sharing the same common goal; to try and make online identity easy to understand and manage for every Internet user. One of the most important features of this conference is that there is no predefined agenda. All topics and seminars are created on the fly and can be initiated by anyone in attendance. This unique formula allows for one discussion topic in one seminar to lead to an entirely new seminar on any of the evolving relative issues.
The BeenVerified.com team was in attendance to attain and exchange knowledge and see if there was anyway for us to educate the general public on some of the various protocols, projects, and companies involved. So we figured what better way then to hear explanations from the leaders of these initiatives themselves. Here is our video diary of a number of really exceptional forward thinking individuals.
Phil Windley and Kaliya Hamlin, Internet Identity Workshop 2007b
Phil Windley and Kaliya Hamlin discuss online identity and what the Internet Identity Workshop is all about.
David Recordon – Six Apart, OpenID
David Recordon from Six Apart and Vice Chair of OpenID foundation discusses OpenID.
Josh Levy, CEO and Co-Founder of BeenVerified.com
Josh Levy, one of the co-founders of BeenVerified.com, talking about what BeenVerified does and why IIW is so important.
Eran Hammer-Lahav and Chris Messina, OAuth
Mike Jones, Microsoft/Cardspace
Mike Jones discussing the features and benefits of Microsoft’s CardSpace and Information Cards.
Joseph Smarr, Plaxo
Joseph Smarr from Plaxo talks about the open web and what Plaxo is doing to make online identity easier to use across the social graph.
Terrell Russell, ClaimID
Terrell Russell of ClaimID.com talks about what ClaimID does and how it helps people take control of their online identity with respect to search engines.
Michael Graves, CTO, JanRain, Inc.
Michael Graves, CTO of JanRain, Inc., discusses JanRain services and OpenID.
Paul Trevithick – Higgins Project
Paul Trevithick is the co-team leader at the open-source Higgins Project. Here he details how Higgins contributes to the open source information card project.
Drummond Reed, XRI/XDI/iNames
Drummond Reed defines XRI and XDI, a new approach to identity identifiers on the web through the use of i-names.
Pamela Dingle – Pamela Project
Pamela Dingle discusses the efforts the Pamela Project has developed to easily integrate Information Cards into any website or community.
Ashish Jain, Ping Identity
The Director of Technology, Ashish Jain, from Ping Identity discusses what Ping Identity brings to enterprises and the online identity world.
Comcast has announced that they are creating the "industry's first fully integrated, Web-based communications center". Powered by companies including Plaxo and Zimbra, the service will be available for their triple play (voice, cable, internet) customers.
"With the SmartZone communications center, we continue to provide superior value to Triple Play customers by putting a suite of communications tools right at their fingertips. From one central dashboard, they will now be able to manage email, voicemail and personal contacts and customize their experience," said Greg Butz, Senior Vice President, Product Development for Comcast.
I have used both Plaxo and Zimbra and am very impressed with their services. Plaxo states they have over 15 million members (of course people may have multiple accounts) and Zimbra just passed the 6 million paid mailbox mark. This should certainly boost the counts for both services by a good margin.
On the flip side, as a Comast Internet customer since 1998, I have never used their home page nor their email service. So while it may work for some, I most likely won't see a benefit. In addition, you really need to have their phone service to take advantage of some of the features including the visual voicemail.
HP, Bizanga, Cloudmark and Trend Micro are also part of the new communications center.
Some of the features from the Comcast release include:
- Easily merge their contacts into one Universal Address Book that synchronizes all of their online address books into one and is accessible from multiple Web-enabled devices.
- Send Instant Messages and Video Instant Messages that enable customers to connect with friends and contacts online in real time.
- Personalize their SmartZone communications centers with other features like weather, news reports and video clips.
- View, send and receive email integrated with voice mail, all on one, easy-to-navigate Web page.
- Experience "Visual" Voice Mail, which means customers can listen to their voicemails online and forward voice mail messages via email to anyone. Customers can also save and manage Call Logs just like they can with email.
The customized, personalized home page space is hot again. I can't believe I am saying that after the late '90s and the "portals" – it is a bit interesting that none of the big players, Netvibes, yourminis, etc. call themselves a portal. Since Comcast already has a large "former AOL" base of users as they move from dial-up to cable modems, this should prove a positive upgrade. I wonder if Comcast will force the start page to their users at some point in the future? Save $5 on your monthly bill if you use comcast.net as your start page?