Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Four (?) social gurus on data portability

Steve O’Hear’s ZDNet Social Web blog has a four-person interview on data portability, and whether anyone outside of Web 2.0 circles cares.

Steve interviewed Andrew Anker of SixApart/Vox, Marc Canter of Broadband Mechanics, Ben Werdmuller of Elgg and Curverider and… *ME*, gulp.

Highlights include:

  • Canter spanking Google CEO Schmidt for “lying” about Google’s attitude to data. That takes courage!
  • Andrew Anker (Vox) claiming: “We’ve certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of the fact that all of our products have always supported full export.” But wait—why can’t you export your books from Vox? Why did LibraryThing have to jump through hoops to make its Vox backup utility?

The inteview was edited somewhat for length—I droned on, as per usual. What’s missing is LibraryThing’s data problem. We don’t own much of the bibliographic data, so we can’t provide it in the sorts of APIs we’d like. (An API to LibraryThing’s bibliographic data would be, in part, an API to Amazon’s API, and that’s disallowed.) And we plan to make money off some aggregate data—like recommendations. But we do what we can. They also cut out my reference to Shelfari‘s we-own-your-copyright-now Terms of Service. How nice of them!

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