In episode 8 of the DataPortability: In-Motion Podcast we diverge from the standard format to dive beyond the headlines to explore recent news. We spent the time talking in depth about the Comcast acquisition of Plaxo and Google’s release of Friend Connect.
For Plaxo, we have Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect, and John McCrae, VP Marketing, talking about the acquisition and how it furthers data portability. Specifically, Smarr made it clear that the name of the game in portability is not making everything homogeneous, but rather opening up the flow of communication across systems:
Data portability is about empowering users to connect the tools they use so they don’t have to repeat themselves over and over again. So that the information can flow for others to discover it. It would be a mistake to characterize it as making everything exactly the same.
One company can’t hold anything hostage because we’re connecting together open standards. All these pieces can be supplied by multiple parties. You can interoperate without having to have a business negotiation because you can write to the standard and the standard works.
In the discussion, Marks also corrects some common misconceptions around Google’s Friend Connect. Some of the reporting about it mistakenly assumed that Google would be siphoning off the friendship graph when using it’s system to connect sites. He clarifies that Friend Connect enables the portability of user data by mapping the connections, and isn’t storing the data itself.
Episode 8: Listen Episode Length: 00:35:41