In the last couple of days data portability and the DataPortability project have been all over the headlines. That's always a good thing for the cause of open standards and interoperability. Each announcement has been a small and long-overdue step towards making social network profile data available to other sites in some sort of digestible way.
First, MySpace announced their 'Data Availability' push with a series of launch partners, and then, seemingly in response, Facebook announced 'Facebook Connect' which is an iteration on their existing APIs to allow 3rd parties to connect and access their user data.
Both moves have rightly been attributed as 'Data Portability' plays - but neither of them are true 'DataPortability' implementations... yet.
They are each proposing and implementing their own specific mechanisms, policies and technologies for moving the data around, and none of them are allowing true two way sync.
Over the coming months it will be our job, at the DataPortability project, to further refine and ratify the DataPortability Best Practices to provide a complete, end-to-end guide that Facebook, Myspace and others can follow. Once properly implemented, all applications on the web will essentially become part of a friction free inter-operable and two way data layer based on open standards.
It will be up to bloggers and other media outlets to keep the pressure on these players to continue to improve their offerings to achieve true compliance based on community recommendations made through the DataPortability project.