Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Google Unleashes New Data Portability Initiative: Google Takeout

Google today unveiled a new service that provides advanced Data Portability across its diverse platform. Google Takeout (http://www.google.com/takeout) makes it easy to extract your data from a variety of Google Services including: Buzz, Contact and Circles, Picasa Web Albums, and Profile. The information is provided in a variety of formats, including vCard and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), and can be quickly downloaded onto your local computer.

In many ways this is not unlike the Data Portability initiatives over at Facebook, and it is certainly a welcome addition to the Google universe. And now that Google is moving more into the social networking space with its just announced Google+ project (http://plus.google.com), the value of Google’s Data Portability efforts to its end-users will likely substantially increase.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Data Portability Applauds US CIO, Mourns Departure

Today, friends of Data Portability lost an ally in their cause when the Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, announced he will be leaving his post in August. Mr. Kundra was the first-ever Chief Information Officer of the United States. During his tenure, Mr. Kundra championed the use of open standards, cloud computing, accessibility, and data portability through a variety of initiatives but lately saw his budgets slashed almost to the point of ineffectiveness. The irony of this is that his cost-saving initiatives netted the Government billions in savings, yet he was unable to save his own projects.

We are at a time when information is instantaneous and permeates every aspect of our lives. Data portability, privacy, and accessibility are the heart of the matter and leadership in this area is game changing on a global scale. If we screw this up we become second fiddle to those that do get it. Mr. Kundra was on the right path, and we at the Data Portability organization applaud his efforts as he re-enters the private sector. We wish him well at his new post at Harvard and hope his voice and passion never lose their strength.

Through this all, our Federal Government and politicians would do well to reassess the importance of the initiatives brought forth by real-world need and championed by Mr. Kundra, for failure to do so will be the real loss felt by the people and businesses of this country.

--Steve Repetti, Chairman, DataPortability.org

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Last Friday I was invited to speak along with the Hatchery at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Adams Center for Entrepreneurship. FAU’s previously held business plan competition was such a success that they wanted to capitalize on the momentum that was generated and provide additional value to the talent that had emerged. As a result, the one-day workshop was created targeting Startups to help them “Increase Business Readiness for Investment and Growth.”

Topics included: Market Need, Revenue/Business Models, Investment Potential and Readiness, Proof of Concept, Hurdles – Ideas & Strategies, Digital Marketing, Crowd Funding, and Legal considerations. My presentation was about Investment Potential and Readiness.

The allotted time was 45 minutes, however my speech ran over by 55% --- no one left and no one stopped me. I guess that was good, either that or the door was looked. Anyway, my friend Marc Kaplan was good enough to video the presentation – although he missed the first 5 minutes and it took him another couple of minutes to stop shaking the camera! Here’s the full presentation minus the first few minutes: (Watch the large-screen version directly on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lca6GvPDZwY)