Data — or is it content? — bouncing around the blogosphere

Well, all the goings-on related to data this week have been exhilarating.  And exhausting.

Read Chris Saad, one of the founders of the DataPortability Project, for his personal take on the actions of the goliath players this week.

And thank you, David Recordon, for pointing your Twitter followers to Dan Farber's column about whether Google, MySpace and Facebook are really making their platforms more open.

As much as I'm an active laborer in the DataPortability Project, after reviewing the comments of a beta user in a startup, it hit me that I'm not satisfied that we know everything we need to know.

Aren't we taking it for granted that the mainstream Internet user wants an open ID that takes him from site to site — or the ability to move her data from one site to another?

And aren't we being just a little too tough on the goliaths? 

OK, maybe they are jumping on the data portability bandwagon purely to protect their market share.  But isn't it at all possible that there is something we can learn from how they choose to wade into these waters?

I know we're inventing marvelous ways to make things open and movable — shameless plug here for foldier — but it was one of foldier's beta testers that made me stop and remember that we really need to think about the user when we're inventing stuff.

"Privacy is a big deal – I read the terms of service for the sites I use, and if one said my data could go anywhere without my knowledge or consent – I don't care what the benefit; I'm not using it."

Maybe the goliaths know something we don't.

Then again, maybe they are eating Wall Street's dogfood by now.

Data portability has captured the attention of the tech world and is emerging as an area of interest in mainstream business.  For good reason — it's where technology and engineers have taken us so far.

Still, it's a good time for all of us to check our assumptions. 

And to be clear about what we really know.

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