Overheard: Word of the Day

Jan 7 2008   10:15PM GMT

Overheard: ValleyWag explains why Robert Scoble got banned from Facebook

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

ValleyWag: Why Robert Scoble got banned from Facebook

Illustrious egoblogger Robert Scoble, the Paris Hilton of Silicon Valley, has committed the geek equivalent of a DUI. He has, by his own admission, violated Facebook’s terms of service, and had his account suspended — 5,000 friends and all. Scoble’s sin? He used a script to export his Facebook address-book information to Plaxo, which runs a competing social network.

Since Robert Scoble was banned from Facebook, there’s been a lot written about the need for data portability in social networking. If social network data was portable, that would mean that if you had a MySpace account for several years but then decided Facebook was “the cool place to be” you could migrate all your stuff over to Facebook without much, if any, effort. Other than people who’ve climbed aboard the social networking bandwagon big time, does anyone really care?

Steve O’Hear’s been thinking about this for quite awhile. He asked four leading developers in the social networking space about how important data portability was to the future of social networking. The best answer IMHO?

Marc Canter (CEO of Broadband Mechanics): “Users do care [about portability] if for no other reason than they’re lazy and they don’t want to have to create all those relationships and upload their photos all over again.”

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