Play the News: Data Portability’s Future

Last week, the fight to manage your social data kicked off in earnest as three major players in the social networking space each announced independent competing approaches to making profile and friend information data portable. MySpace Data Availability was followed by Facebook Connect and then Google Friend Connect after that. With all these competing APIs, how this will play out is anyone’s guess. We’ve created an interactive app from Impact Games that will let you model how each of the major players will impact the data portability movement and share your opinions about what they should do.

Prior to any of the announcements last week, Chris Saad, co-founder of DataPortability.org, appeared on our podcast show ReadWriteTalk and told us that this was one of the use cases the Data Portability Project was focused on. Missing from the scrum so far is Microsoft, who Saad told us is the most data portability friendly company. What Microsoft will do is unclear at this point.

In the game below you can choose to play the role of any of 5 different players: Google, MySpace, Microsoft, the Data Portability Project, or Facebook. You can then predict what will happen, or voice your opinion about what should happen. Or both.

Example of game play: Let’s say you chose to play as the Data Portability Project. You can predict that Data Portability will “criticize the vendors and encourage a vendor neutral approach.” If you voice an opinion, you are guided by several “advisors” – in this case we have ReadWriteWeb, CNET and Forrester Research. The difference between predicting and voicing an opinion is that you may not necessarily agree with what you predict Data Portability or any of the different roles will do, so you can also cast your opinion about what you think they should do!

This is the second in a series of games that we’ll run over the next few months on ReadWriteWeb; the first dealt with Google App Engine. In about a week, we’ll be sharing the results of both what you think the different players will and should do in the future. Please share any additional thoughts on this issue in the comments below.

Disclosure: One of our writers, Sean Ammirati, is on the Impact Games advisory board.

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