Monday, February 02, 2009

Our Data on the Web- What if We Woke Up to Empty Shelves

As i finished up my coffee Saturday morning before heading to the BART station to pick a fellow 'she geek' up to head down to day two of She's Geeky, a quick look at Techmeme reminded me of some of the important issues we had discussed the day before at the session about 'Making Information Accessible'.

That morning's two stories that caught my attention, was one on Google going 'bonkers' earlier that morning with malware messages on all the results and Ma.gnolia a social bookmarking site suffering major data loss and basically forcing them to shut down access to the site. [it is now Monday at 9:30PST and the site is still down with no message when you land on their pages which is disturbing. the last message is on their twitter account @magnolia]

In that session on friday we discussed structuring data for findability and reuse but we also went on a tangent about where the data is stored, who has access, who owns it, who can move the data etc.

This is one of the reasons that i got involved with the DataPortability Project early on and currently server on the Steering Committee as chairperson along with other roles. The project is addressing the issue of user data with the vision that "data portability enables a borderless experience, where people can move easily between network services, reusing data they provide while controlling their privacy and respecting the privacy of others". Issues of ownership, security and access to your user data are an important part of ensuring data portability for users.

So over the last few days, i have been thinking, would i pay for a service that took all my data from these various site i am adding value to and kept it secure, aggregrated and always accessible with 'one' click? (content created on services like Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, Delicious, and on and on etc.) Yes i would. Stowe Boyd describes such as service at the end of his post on the subject.

and i just did a backup of my delicious tags- you never know...and fingers crossed for the mag.nolia team and users (i am one of their users but have over the last year mostly used delicious).



Anonymous said...

The situation you are putting forward is even difficult to imagine. But rest assured, all major companies such as google, yahoo etc have good back up mechanisms
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Steve said...

well! that would be really catastrophic
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eshock said...

web 1.0 was you, web 2.0 is us, web 3.0 will be me. why rent when you can own?

Brian said...

Data is the most valuable thing in computing systems. All organizations worth the name will have adequate back-up systems
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