As many of you know i have been involved with the DataPortability Project from the start being one of the co-founders and the first chairperson of the board/steering committee. Having Ramona last December pulled me back from a lot of my DataPortability duties and since i have gone back to work my time continues to be limited- but one thing that has not changed is my belief that Data Portability is a topic that both users and service providers should not only be aware of but have standards to implement.
In June of this year we launched the DataPortability Policy after many months of work .The heart of the Portability Policy is a set of plain language questions that should become a common vocabulary between software users and providers. Through these questions, a provider can disclose what they do or do not, to enable data portability and the users can have a clear understanding of what they are about to 'sign-up' for as they select new services to share their data.
Elias Bizannes, the current chairperson just posted an article on Mashable titled "What You Need To Know About Data Portability" that is a good read as it gives an overview of why it should matter for both users and companies. As Elias writes, the technology to enable data portability exists but what we lack, is a cultural acceptance that a company opening up your data to competing services is beneficial. Coverage of the topic on well read sites like Mashable will help this discussion proceed even further!