It was great to see Data Liberation Front announcing their goal to liberate data from the mighty Google silo about two weeks ago. They have been around in a more geeky form for some time as an open-source Blog Converters project for federating the exchange of data between blogging platforms… and one of the reasons I went for MINT rather than a name with data liberation in it.
I particularly liked this bit:
We believe that users – not products – own their data, and should be able to quickly and easily take that data out of any product without a hassle. We’d rather have loyal users who use Google products because they’re innovative – not because they lock users in. You can think of this as a long-term strategy to retain loyal users, rather than the short-term strategy of making it hard for people to leave.
This is unreservedly good news. Exporting your data ought to be part of basic functionality of any web app, web service or web platform. The fact it isn’t means it needs to be fought on many fronts. People’s Font for Data Liberation, anyone?
Instead of painting the palace walls, how about helping with finding:
* executives in a position to tweak their organisations database to provide downloadable transaction/purchase history to their customers or users OR anyone who think they might know someone.
* data-geeks with understanding of open formats and/or database data exports.
* developers interested in providing users with analytical functionality and ability to mine their own data