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The Move to Make Social Data Portable

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Social networks such as Bebo, Flickr, Facebook, Friendster, Linkedln, MySpace, and Orkut have attracted millions of users who are involved in blogging, participatory book reviewing, personal networking, photo sharing, and other similar activities. The users have freely submitted personal data to proprietary databases so that they can communicate and share with other participants. However, some have begun to grumble that the networks' proprietary code and lack of APIs don't allow them to export data from one site to another. For social-network operators, this information lock-in was supposed to be an advantage. Forcing participants to re-enter data for each service ostensibly would encourage them to stay with the same service." Data portability allow us to take data, increasing competition [among sites] and creating a better environment for everyone using the Web.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

April 2008

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