Data Portability and Social Networks

Steve O’Hear conducted an interesting four person interview with Andrew Anker of Six Apart, Marc Canter of Broadband Mechanics, Tim Spalding of LibraryThing and Ben Werdmuller of Elgg on data portability on social networks.

It is encouraging to read that all participants agree that social networks’ greatest asset is data generated by its users. Users should be able to import and export data even if it means people leaving one network for another. If user data is portable social networks have to concentrate on on their service and make it stand out from others. Or as Tim Spalding says: “Allowing users to import and export their data freely is just another part of providing a good and trustworthy service.”

So there is hope that social networks will have a closer look on the topic and implement features which allow the export of data and make lives of users easier.