data decentralization

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The gravity of Facebook has started to pull on all data on the web.  The opportunity of giving individuals the power to expand their social network to all places on the web is a good thing.  The question is: should one business be the monopoly provider of this utility?  Some young developers think their is a need for an alternative, a decentralized alternative, they have crowd sourced funding and are called Diaspora Project.

The team at RedWriteWeb have a great overview on them.  The most interesting thing they write about Diaspora is that they are using a wordpress like development stance, opensource on the one hand and a managed hosted service on the other, I’d call that a cloud service.  They point to no centralization but I have found that the wordpress.com service does exactly this.  They restrict the plugins and other functionality for security reasons.  I’d like to see us making this hosted or cloud service have the same standalone freedom as a self installed server has.  What technical implications that involves are not fully known but if the goal is to have data portability and interoperability of data at the individuals control then, we should aim for those same standards on the applications that enable that empowerment.

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