As you know from few posts on this blog, I am a huge supporter of user’s owning their social graphs. Over multiple posts, I have been laying out the need for a consolidated service, which hosts the graph (along with identity) for a user.
Last week this discussion caught some steam with some great posts by Tim Berners-Lee and Dave Winer. Dave’s post made me think that the data ownership problem is bigger than just the graph. Theoretically a user owns all the content they generate on any of these services. You know, things like Amazon ratings, YouTube videos, etc. While I don’t see anyone having the need for getting an XML file with this content for personal use. I do see them wanting to use this data on other services. For example (from Dave’s post) one can use their movie ratings at NetFlix and use it with Vudu or share it with their friends on Facebook.
This thought process clearly reflects that there are many graphs (social or otherwise) within many dimensions of services on the web. Every new service with any user generated content is creating a new graph. I talked about the need for consolidating the access to this graph in my last post. Given the dispersed nature of the graphs it will be pretty unrealistic for any web service to physically do that. Hence in this post I am recommending a slightly different mechanism whereby we can enable an ecosystem on the web and achieve the same results. So here it goes: