Data Portability Momentum: Go, Digg, go!

"Free the data!"

Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb helps us sort through the latest.

Our friends over at Digg blogged today about their enhanced support for data portability:

“The Data Sharing Summit in San Francisco was a gas. It was a real pleasure to work with like-minded people from organizations, large and small, all supporting DataPortability. At the Summit I had the chance to show off Digg’s latest DataPortability enhancements. Although the enhancements are not visible on, if you use Digg together with other social networks, these enhancements can make the Web more fun and useful. Among the recent enhancements:

– We’ve added XFN to your user profile. XFN is an open standard that makes it easier for other social Web sites to recognize your Digg friends.

– We’ve improved support for hCard, another open data format for communicating Digg user names, nicknames, and photos, so that your favorite friend-following tools can more easily display your friends’ activity.

– We’ve added RDFa, making Digg part of the “semantic web” where Web pages become more sophisticated, beyond simply words and pictures.

These efforts support our philosophy that you own your data.”

This is another great sign of the momentum building for the notion that users own their data and content and should have control of who they share it with and the freedom to take it with them weherever they go across the Social Web.

And trust me, there’s a lot more to come. We entered the year with a bang, with many saying “2008 would be the year of data portability.” I have to say, I have never been more certain of our industry’s collective ability to deliver on that promise. What we need to work on becomes clearer and clearer, and more significantly, all the big players are now unconflicted in their support of all things “open.”

What if all the big players, who are the custodians (not owners) of vast treasure troves of personal data, could agree on standard ways of providing access to contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, profiles, photos, etc.? Is there anyone who doesn’t think that is the future we should be working towards?

Heads-up, if you run a service based on lock-in of your users’ data, think about another plan, or get out of the way.

Update: Here’s the view from TechCrunch.

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