Tuesday, May 06, 2008

iPages a go-go

I was reading Kevin Marks post that looks at Brad Templeton's post about the interplay between data portability and behavior portability. As I commented on Kevin's blog I agree with them 80% but think that Brad's proposal has one flaw.

I disagree that it is practical or desirable to create a centralized data store. I think there are a couple of issues with that model. The first is the security implications of having everything in one place... that scares me. The second issue is, I think key, to the success of this model...

The 'place that I have access to all my data and can therefore run my OpenSocial apps', lets for the sake of ease call it my 'iPage' can and should provide me all of the user interactions I need to manage my virtually aggregated data. Specialized 'Widget Providers' should give me widgets that give me data domain specific user interactions through which I can specify my favorite music, food likes and dislikes, rental car preferences, etc... BUT there is a world of data that is collected about me, and should be FOR me, buy people and systems that are much better qualified to know and assert those things than I am... Like medical information, qualifications, financial instruments, transactional histories of all kinds, what was done to my car at its last service, etc...

This is why we have BUILT a system that has a data abstraction (xdi/higgins) behind the OpenSocial container rather than a database. The abstraction can provide (bi-directional data access) data to widgets that is stored locally or data that is stored remotely (or a mix of both), the widget neither knows nor cares.

Using OPEN distributed identity standards (OpenID, oAuth, ID-WSF, InfoCards, FOAF, XFN) and OPEN data abstraction standards (XDI, Higgins,XML,RDF)... This can be done today... we've done it... This truly enables VRM in a broad and flexible way.

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