I want it all back!

January 19, 2007

Yeah that’s right, you heard me I want every interaction with every website that I have ever done back. It’s mine isn’t it. Even with an article that you right for an online (or not online) publication, you have the right to own a copy of it.

Here is my thought, I have a blog, I have some images that I post on Flickr, I have some links that I keep on del.icio.us, I have some entries that I keep in my Google Calendar or Google Documents and let’s say I have some interests I keep and comment on at one of my new favorite sites Wis.dm.

Now I really want to get involved with a new site Dandelife but I am just getting sick of all the URL’s all of the passwords all of the different UI and bits of information that I have out there. All of the sites that I interact with are all a part of me (jeez I did not even mention YouTube). They make up the collection of information out there that is me and what I am interested in and what I know and who I interact with. I want it all back. Yeah that’s right, it’s mine and I want it back.

So I know that the ebb and flow of the Internet follows many patterns that have been on going in technology in general. Terminal Computers – VT 100 (Centralized) then Personal Computers (Distributed) then Thin Clients like Flash, Flex and even Ajax applications (Centralized) …

The number of “social networking” sites out there is so staggering and the landscape is so saturated it is hard for good ideas to get any real traction. There are more applications out there then there is attention time available. Participation applications are popping up all over the place and it becomes more difficult each day to spend quality time interacting with your peers on particular subjects.

Solution – lets shift the paradigm here. Let’s get this whole home computer piece working in the reverse direction. Let me keep all of my data on my machine in my on way. My videos, my posts, my pictures, my responses etc… After all they are mine. Then let me choose to share this information with other sites. Like this:

I go to my mikull.com and find a post or a discussion thread of interest that I want to participate in, I add my comments or my thoughts and instead of the information being stored on his blog on his computer the information is on my computer in my house. The applications would talk to each other and essentially what I would be giving mikull.com is the ability to subscribe to my thought. Essentially, an RSS feed of my thought with a uniqueID (URL) would be given to the post or discussion thread for it to display. In the process, some sort of service level agreement would be made between the two trusted systems which would give me rights to my thought with mikull.com having rights to display the thought as they see fit (essentially a copy of the thought). This way I would keep a record of all of my interactions with the web sites out there (maybe my home computer would enter into an agreement with mikull.com so that I could have a copy of the post for reference).

I like this idea, a lot, who is with me?


3 Responses to “I want it all back!”

  1. Kelly Says:

    I’m with ya. Though to be fair, you can export your data from Dandelife. It’s also possible to keep your stories and relationships completely private at Dandelife too. We’ll be integrating OpenID soon as well. I agree with your sentiments; just not sure of the best way to make it so.

    All the same, I’m glad you like Dandelife. If there’s anything you think we can be doing better, please don’t hesitate to say so. I thrive on feedback.

    Bye for now,
    Kelly, Co-Founder, Dandelife.com

  2. notronwest Says:


    Exporting data is a start but what I think I am interested in would be something more automatic. This post generated off of a discussion I was having with someone about standards. With a good standard in place communication between Web applications could be established so that it was automatic.

    For instance, if I was going to click submit on one of my stories on Dandelife (great site by the way), it would automatically send the content to my central server (located at my house) in a format that is standardized yet informative enough to contain specific information from the site (in your case the story that I am telling) which may be different from site to site.

    I would then have one place that I could go (my home server) to see all of the information that I have posted on all of the sites that I interact with.

    It could be as simple as generating an RSS feed on the click of the “submit” button which communicates potentially with my OpenID account to know where to send the packet.

    This way the information is shared to the site which I participate on, but a copy is in a central location. Then if I wanted to I could allow people to browse my site (from my home server) so that they could see what kind of person I am, what kind of sites I frequent and learn more about me.

  3. […] Networks in general.  I happen to agree (read my article about content ownership: “I want it all back“).  I think that the work that Facebook is doing while exciting and powerful, may not […]

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