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MySpace Opens Up: Introducing Data Availability


Marc Canter of Broadband Mechanics fame alerted me to the news that MySpace is allowing third parties -- among them eBay, Twitter, and Yahoo -- to access their information.

This would allow people to do things like find friends from MySpace on Twitter, switch effortlessly from Twitter to Yahoo! Instant Messenger and transfer Flickr photos easily to eBay. Dating services would change, and people may even be able to access Match.com profiles from the corresponding MySpace page.

MySpace also joins the DataPortability Group. As a member of the policy workgroup, I see comments where Flickr users have gone nuts over third parties creating photobooks out of their photos without asking first, or Seesmic users complaining when their videos are suddenly made available on Google search.

What a terrible surprise for those users!!

It will be interesting to see how MySpace handles giving people control about where their data can go, and to what extent they communicate the various ways uploaded data is, can, and may be used.

To see how something like this might work, CommonCraft did a great video on how social networks work in general. It's useful for thinking how networks that are today totally unrelated -- like, Gmail and LinkedIn users -- might use something like Data Availability to make connections with MySpace users and each other.


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