Nicole Ferraro over at Internet Revolution just released an interesting article on Plaxo and Data Portability. Here's my response:
Data Portability, as a topic independent from all of the other issues, has the potential to be extraordinarily useful to both the user and companies (including the Plaxo’s of the world). It’s not a loss to the companies if they provide value beyond simply hosting yet another digital persona.
In a world of data portability, information seamlessly and securely moves between services subject to the wishes of the user and the negotiated relationship entered into by the user and companies, usually defined by the terms of service (EULA/TOS: another important topic!). Innovative companies thrive in this environment because of the substantial value-add they provide to the user – and, as a result, have the opportunity for exponential growth due to the seamless integration of their services with the larger world.
Users benefit because they get to focus on what they want to achieve with the information, rather than having to create yet another set of activity streams, friends lists, groups, security settings, etc., and having to worry about integration, access control, and synchronization. Or more worrisome is the danger of the provider “deadpooling” with your data locked in their vault.
Overall, data portability is good for everyone. It does not seek to reduce options or competition, rather it provide options and secure, comfortable means to a highly sought end.
Interested more on data portability? Visit http://www.dataportability.org and join in the conversation
Board member: www.dataportability.org