MySpace, Facebook, et al: Data portability

"Data portability" is kind of a techie term, but it's something a lot of avid social networkers have been waiting for – being able to have their "credentials" (user name, password, profile info, etc.) move around the social Web with them, rather than having separate IDs and log-ins all over the place. It's great if you're just you online, but if you're trying out different personas or playing to different publics, it's just another step toward transparency and could make it hard to remember who you were where! "Welcome to the social mess," quips a CNET blogger, though she's referring to all the various 'n' sundry interoperability projects – OpenID, OpenSocial, Flux, MyBlogLog, OAuth, etc. – that have been in the works and which approaches will win out. MySpace made its announcement first, about its Data Availability (among Fox Interactive sites and partners eBay, Yahoo, and Twitter – see The Telegraph's coverage). Next was Facebook's, with its own project called Facebook Connect, CNET blogger Caroline McCarthy reported separately. Google's Friend Connect is different (see "Anyone can have a social site now" this week).

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