What does Social Portability Mean?

To privacy? It’s (a copy of) your personal data (that you chose to share), after all.

To advertising revenue? Social sites make cash from eyeballs who visit to see what you’ve shared.

The jury is still well out on this, but since MySpace announced their data portability initiative, Facebook and Google  have responded on how they would offer to share access to your data.

Let me clarify: I see this as social, but not really "portable"; it’s more like "accessible": where a user can define to what other networks their data could be referenced and / or shared. webmonkey comments on this in "How MySpace Plans to Become Everybody’s Space".

I don’t see any of the sites releasing (or transferring) the data; it’s either a pointer to, or a copy of some of the data between sites. In the MySpace case, access to data is granted by the user, but the API looks to be a pointer to the data than release of the data. ClickZ comments: ".. MySpace Unveils Data Portability Project" (part of a larger article).

Per Wired, Facebook isn’t too keen about releasing control of your data, in "Facebook, Google Square Off Over Who Controls Your Data (Hint: It’s Not You)".

I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

June 14, 2011 Update: We haven’t. Most everything discussed in these articles has happened .. although by Facebook and not MySpace.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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