The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 08:55:37 PM on Thursday, February 7th, 2008
As I watched (couldn't be there) the DataPortability meet-up on uStream, some good chats were happening in the side panel.
08:52 aminissa : You cannot take without giving back. DataPortability is essentially taking from businesses and giving to consumers. We have to outline what DataPortability can give back to businesses.

A great point.  Here is what DataPortability offers in my eyes, following what Chris Brogan answered in comments to my posting yesterday.  Chris pointed out that data should be able to be stored anywhere, hence the theory of the Internet.  I agree, but formatting it so every vendor can access the data the same way will be the challenge.  I still believe a centralized site is a starting point for everyone to win.

Business then spend less time worrying about how to build their own data storage formats and behaviors and instead focus on what they do best as social network sites, build applications that draw people as well as advertising.  If the specification standard was in place for DataPortability, everyone can immediately start writing business and value added feature sets.  Then the best site wins.  The user wins with data stored one time, updated one time.  Business value becomes the extras that get offered to draw that same crowd.  You pick your current consumabilities in life the same way.  Favorite car wash (same car, same water, different approaches) for example.  Medical cards (same name, same social security number, same personal health) but each offers different service levels around it.

So for grins, I registered two domains and welcome anyone that thinks we can take the starter of a specification to make a data framework that then all these people in the room in San Francisco can get at.  I would happily move and reenter all my data one more final time to know it was the last and then start approving all these vendors I already have accounts with to start accessing some parts.  I have them parked as of my epiphany last night.

So we have:
  •   OnlineHabit  (old domain name I own that seems fitting at this point with the proliferation of social networks)

The domain name isn't important, I just wanted a focal point to get started.  Each site asks us the same info over and over, so let's give them a fixed format with security wrapping and make it portable to each site.  The consumer owns the data, gives social network or profile aggregators access and people like FaceBook never see the difference and keep writing goofy little apps and widgets.

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This will take far more time than I have today. I will start with I was born and still live in St. Louis, MO. Even though for a couple years I was never, ever here and always on the road, this is smack in the middle of the US. Everything is just a few hour flight. That part is nice. No beach/ocean/coast isn't the best. But with the travel I make up for it.

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