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Locked and Bloated, by John Battelle

Stashed in: PandaWhale, Twitter!, Facebook!, Teh Internets, @johnbattelle, Awesome, Internets, Twitter

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John Battelle describes the Who Owns Our Data? question:

I just wish [Facebook, Twitter, and other Consumer Cloud Companies] all had one thing consistently in common: That they let us get our data, our content, and ourselves out of their platforms if we wanted to, in a painless, one click fashion.

Imagine a world where that was possible.

A long, long time ago, at least in Internet years, I wrote a piece called It’s Time For Services on The Web to Compete On More Than Data. This was almost five years ago – January of 2008. I was contemplating the rise of Facebook and the social graph, and Google’s nascent response. In the post I argued that Facebook should let us all take our social graph wherever we want, because the company will win not on locking us in, but in servicing us better than anyone else.

Oh, how utopian that all sounds.

Now, pretty much every major Internet player is scrambling to lock us into a cloud commit conundrum. Even Twitter, in certain ways – it wants content viewed on its platform, not others’.

We at PandaWhale are committed to letting consumers export their own data and content.

We believe in differentiation based on service, not data lock in.

We believe that content should be viewed wherever the consumers want to consume it.

We just need to get to the point where we have the resources to build the tools for that.

The main problem I have with Battelle's article is that he doesn't make the business case for why Facebook and Twitter should want to do this.

Facebook and Twitter understand the business case for lock-in. It's Winner-Take-All.

Why would Facebook and Twitter be bigger businesses if they let consumers have their own data back?


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