Social Networks & Portability
Earlier this week, during Marc Canter’s panel at LeWeb, I asked whether we could get a first step on all the social networks toward true social graph portability (which probably won’t happen because it’s too complex to do, because there are too many privacy rules, and because companies aren’t likely to give up their lockin anytime soon — imagine being able to drag all your information along with all of that of your friends from Facebook to MySpace and you’ll seee just how hard portability is going to prove to be).
Translation: I agree with James Snell, who just made that point.
But here’s a challenge for social networks: how about you all add links to other social networks. So, when I look up Dave Winer on Twitter, for instance, I could see that he’s also on Flickr and Facebook.
For instance, I’m on Upcoming.org. If you visit me there you won’t have a clue that I’m also on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Yelp and a variety of other networks.
Plaxo and Pownce are two that are already letting me add links to other networks I’m on. I’m wondering if the industry could come up with some auto discovery protocols and/or ways to manually link things up?
Doing just this small step would greatly help us get down the road to some sort of federated system where I don’t need to fill out my information for each of my networks I’m on. It really is a pain in the behind to keep them all up to date.
Please? Pretty please?