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Some interesting news broke today about how MySpace is opening up personal profile data in a project they call ‘Data Availability’ and have announced they’re joining the Data Portability group.  So far as I can see, there’s a gradual roll out from allowing you to export and wander off with your profile data, leading up to anything from MySpace at all – your friends, your media and preferences.

MySpace were one of the first to join up in Google’s OpenSocial movement and it appears they will be using oAuth too.  I’m not sure yet how much of what they’ve done is proprietary or based on open standards (such as those the Data Portability group endorse).  It’s about time one of the big players stepped forward with a message like this.  It’s OK to be open – we’re not scared of everyone leaving us in droves!

Check out articles about this on c|net and John McCrea’s blog (Plaxo) for more background on this.

I’ve said for a while (more often that not on LinkedIn answers), that if social networks want to breakfatigue and find more value, they need to provide compelling services and allow people the freedom to use whichever service suits their needs.  I’m actually surprised that MySpace was the first, maybe there’s hope for it yet…?  I’m doubtful as to whether Facebook would ever take this approach to openness – they like their controlled silo too much I think…

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9th May, 2008