Initial take on Data Portability

Lately I heard a lot of buzz from top bloggers and blogs about “Data Portability” effort. The first thing I did was to go the Data Portability site to find out what the buzz is all about.

To be honest, it left me bewildered. The site is hard to navigate and confusing especially for the first time casual user trying to get a general understanding of what the effort is about. This coming from someone with many years of software development and management experience, so I can only imagine someone without a software background trying to understand the site and data portability effort.

It took subsequent trips back to the site and reading various other articles to get an overview of data portability effort. I decided to start this blog to share my thoughts on data portability in an ungeek manner so that hopefully a bigger audience can quickly learn about it and evangelize it. I believe that this is an important effort for Web 3.0 and beyond.

First off, I decided to give it my own acronym, DaPo, instead of DP – I have seen this acronym (DP) being used in various Data Portability Google groups conversations. Uh hmm, no offense but the acronym DP has a sexual connotation, so I thought it might not be appropriate to use in general public discussion, hence my own new acronym, DaPo (NOT sanctioned by the data portability organization).

So, what is DaPo’s purpose? On the site, it states

The purpose of this project is to put existing technologies, techniques, policies and initiatives in context in order to facilitate translation, education, advocacy and ultimately implementation of data portability. Portability is defined as both physically moving data or simply porting the context in which the data is used.

Pretty dry if you ask me and I lost my attention after “existing technologies, techniques”.

My take on it…

Promote the use of existing open source technology to facilitate data exchange between sites.

That said, DaPo is still geek domain, the list of existing open source technology reads like an acronym soup foreign to most everyone except for hardcore technology pundits and open source developers. In large part, DaPo applies to Web 2.0 / social networking sites. I welcome any suggestions on how to ungeek DaPo.


2 Responses to “Initial take on Data Portability”

  1. 1 Mike Reynolds March 16, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Hello Bob (I hope I got your name right). Thanks for the post, you are spot on. I’m one of the co-founders of DaPo.

    Indeed, DataPortability sprung into the spotlight just a few months after being founded. It’s a very broad effort that will ultimately impact hundreds of millions of people. We’re in the very early stages and expect our members like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others to contribute much to the project. But we also expect lots of input from small startups and from individuals, too.

    In fact, most of the work has already been done by individuals and groups such as OpenID. The next step is figuring out standard ways to implement all this.

    Some of the implementations will involve private data, so privacy and security are important, extremely important.

    Thanks again for the post. BTW, just subscribed to your blog.


  2. 2 bngu March 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm


    You got my name right. I appreciate you taking the time to subscribe and leaving a comment.

    I am new to DaPo and these are just my thoughts as I get to know more about it. If I am wrong about anything, please feel free to clarify or correct.


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