dConstruct 2008: Tantek Celik: Social Network Portability

Why does every social site make you

  1. re-enter your personal information?
  2. re-add all your friends?
  3. turn off notifications?
  4. re-specify privacy preferences?
  5. re-block negative people?

Keeping multiple sources of info (social networks etc.) up-to-date is a maintenance problem.

The goal should be giving users complete control over their data. Portable data + consistent URL = data syndicatability.

Had an interesting chat with Mr Thorpe after this one, who raised the point that in many cases, you don't want to share your identity between sites: you want to maintain many identities and quite specifically compartmentalise them.

Leaving aside whether we can enable people to express very instinctual and deep-seated behaviour explicitly... will they want to? Could we take the N different inconsistent versions of ourselves that we project in the real world (all the time lying to those we project to that yes, they're seeing the genuine article), XML-encode them and set them in concrete online?