Own Your Data

A very interesting discussion has been happening around the idea of ‘who owns your data’, particularly as it applies to social media. I would encourage you to read through the discussion that is taking place.

It revolves around, in many respects, Tantek Çelik’s approach to tweeting. Instead of posting on Twitter and using the API to pull his tweets to his site, he’s posting to his site and pushing to Twitter. It’s an interesting approach, if odd to experience as a consumer.

Tom Henrich has been capturing most of the tweets and comments in the conversation. Also noteworthy are Zeldman’s comment and Tantek’s rebuttal and Jason Scott’s Yahoo!locaust.

It’s an important conversation about who owns our thoughts, experiences, our data and how do we interact with services that potentially augment them. There is a growing history of companies that act irresponsibility with our data. Sites get shut down and data is wiped from the web.

Another interesting piece of this conversation for me is the expertise level that is presently needed to own your data. For example, I can build a website and build tools to interact with APIs but this requires programming experience that most people don’t have. There’s certainly more people who don’t know how to build their own sites and publish/syndicate to services than who do. It’s easier for them to post on Facebook or Twitter than deal with creating a blog, figuring out hosting, databases, and so on. But in the end, how do we help people own their data but still enable valuable social interaction spaces?