The Data Sharing Summit: Problems and Solutions

Certain events scream out for live blogging. The Data Sharing Summit is one of them. So these are my notes from first half of Day 1. (Then why are they being posted at midnight, you ask? Because there was too damn much to talk about during the second half of the day. More on that tomorrow.)

First, this is the list of problems that attendees want to see addressed:

  • The distributed schema mapping problem – how do you map across zillions of different local schemas?
  • The “Social Web Bill of Rights” or “identity rights agreement” problem – how can you have “Creative Commons licenses for data sharing”?
  • The protocol problem – how do you move social graph data around?
  • The “too many IDs” problem – how can we not require more IDs (even with OpenID there is starting to be a proliferation of IDs)?
  • The directory or “friend discovery” problem – how do you find other people in the social graph (a “People’s Guidestar”)?
  • The addressing problem – how can data be addressed in a consistent manner across distributed locations?
  • The user privacy and control problem (also called the “fear” or “surprise” problem) – how can users not be spooked by the idea of their social graph data “getting loose”; how can they maintain control over portable social graph data?
  • The granular access control problem – how can control be easily brought down to the individual attribute level, e.g., date of birth?
  • The regulation problem – how can social graph portability be accomplished within the bounds of data sharing regulations that currently do not permit certain types of personal data to be shared across certain jurisdictions?
  • The safety problem – how can portable social graphs not be subject to the same spam, phishing, and phraud problems as email and the Web?
  • The political problem – how can we make it “politically necessary” for sites and applications to offer social network graph export?
  • The “friend description problem” – how can we have a interoperable means of providing richer description of “friend” relationships?
  • The calendar sharing problem – of all the different types of social graph data, how specifically can we reach alignment over sharing of calendar data?
  • The adoption problem – what are the compelling uses of social graph portability that will drive large-scale adoption?
  • The internationalization problem – how can attribute sharing work across all world languages?
  • The user experience problem – how can social graph sharing operations be made simple and understandable to everyday Web users?
  • The operational problem – how will large-scale data sharing affect network loads, caching, firewalls, security perimeters, etc.?
  • The “invitation fatigue” problem – how can we stop being overwhelmed by yet another source of messages and “click-to-accept” links?

Second, this is the list of solutions being offered at the DSS:

  • An OpenID interoperability testing service (Marc Canter)
  • A new open source project & community for social data portability using Higgins and Higgins context providers.
  • A community dictionary service for schema mapping (Markus Sabadello, Drummond Reed, Paul Trevithick)
  • Different companies offering the potential to have open APIs for sharing their social graph data (AOL/AIM, Yahoo, Google, Cyworld).
  • OpenID-based attribute exchange (Dick Hardt & Sxip)
  • An open API format for social network portability and sync’ing (Brad Fitzpatrick and David Recordon)
  • A social network export service (Upscoop from Rapleaf)

Third, here are the demos that were shown before lunch:

  • Cloudtripper: Paul Trevithick and Markus Sabadello showed how Higgins in conjunction with Higgins context providers (code chunks that know how to talk to specific data sources) can be used to pull a user’s social graph data together directly to their own desktop client.
  • Community Dictionary Service (CDS): Markus Sabadello and I demo’d a new service contributed to the Identity Schemas Working Group at Identity Commons. Intended to help solve the schema mapping problem for highly distributed data sharing, the CDS is a “Wikipedia for machines” – a way for applications to discover and map elements from different data schemas. (I’ll blog a bunch more about this after the Summit is over, but please do see it for yourself.)
  • FOAF crawler: David Recordon (now back at Six Apart) showed a service that crawls public FOAF, XFN, or other relationship metadata to produce aggregated social graphs.
  • Pownce: Leah Culver demo’d a social network aggregation service that lets users aggregate their own social graph.
  • XRI-based data sharing: Mike Mell showed an implementation of a data sharing solution based on XRI structured identifiers for La Leche League International.

About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
This entry was posted in Community Dictionary Service, Dataweb, General, Higgins, Identity Rights Agreements, Privacy, Social Web, XDI, XRI. Bookmark the permalink.