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DataPortability.org – an important step forward for personal digital archives

January 29th, 2008 · 3 Comments · News, Personal Digital Archives

A little over two years ago I was brainstorming an online digital archiving service that would help individuals take control of their scattered online identities and digital media by centralizing them in a personal digital archives system that was built using professional archives standards and emerging digital preservation technologies. I put together a little business plan slide presentation and was going to call it ‘archivematica’.

Well, the project fell by the wayside, as per usual, when I got too busy with paid contract work. However, as you can see from the name and URL of this blog, the domain name still came in handy.

Even if I would have had time to pursue this concept further at the time, I would have run into a number issues with trying to ‘scrape’ profiles and content from websites such as Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, etc.. It turns out the new ‘open’ web still has many closed doors.

That’s why I’m very excited to hear about the work of the DataPortability.org group.

They share the same objectives as my ‘archivematica’ concept, namely:

  1. “We want sovereignty over the profiles, relationships, content and media we create and maintain.
  2. We want open formats, protocols and policies for identity discovery, data import, export and sync.
  3. We want to protect user rights and privacy…”

DataPortability.org is not interested in inventing new protocols or standards. Instead they want to create a Technical Interoperability Blueprint to define how existing, simple-to-implement, de-facto protocols and standards (e.g. OpenID, RSS, Microformats, etc.) can be integrated and aligned to make user data portable between multiple online sites and services. Of course, this will require buy-in from the big Web 2.0 sites, so ‘evangelism’ is a major component of the DataPortability.org work.

I am very excited about this initiative. I have joined the discussion groups and will be tracking progress with interest. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity in the near future to implement the DataPortability.org reference designs in the tools that I am now working on.

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jeanne // Jan 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    This sounds great. It provided an interesting counterpoint to this Mashable post: http://mashable.com/2008/01/29/prepare-for-your-death-online-20-helpful-tools/

    I had looked there thinking it would talk more about personal digital archives… but it was much more focused on online tools for estate planning and creating online memorials. I had been hoping for (no surprise) information about loved one’s access to email, exporting of blogs and other types of personally created content.

    I will definitely be keeping an eye on DataPortability.org!

  • 2 thesecretmirror.com // Jan 29, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    DataPortability.org and the Dream of a Web 2.0 Backup System

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