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Revision as of 01:27, 29 July 2007 by Tantek (talk | contribs) (link up with hcard-supporting-profiles)
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Social Network Portability

One of several user-inteface ideas and suggestions for working with microformats.

The Problem

Why is it that every single social network community site makes you:

  • re-enter all your personal profile info (name, email, birthday, URL etc.)
  • re-add all your friends


In addition, why do I have to:

  • re-turn off notifications
  • re-specify privacy preferences
  • re-block negative people


AKA "social network fatigue problem" and "social network update/maintenance problem".

The Goals

When you join a new site, you should be able to import or preferably subscribe to

  • your profile information
  • your social network

from any existing profile of yours.

In addition it would be nice if preferences around:

  • notifications
  • privacy

also transferred between profiles.

The Implementation Brainstorm

Let's see some user interface suggestions for sites to simply import or, even better subscribe to:

Discussion and suggestions


Social Network Portability FAQ

  • Doesn't OpenID address the re-enter all your personal profile info problem?
    • No it does not. OpenID is fundamentally about proving to one site that you own or control another particular URL. Nothing more. All the profile stuff is extra and even then the specific property set is unspecified in OpenID. That's where hCard comes in. hCard specifies a vocabulary of personal profile info (name, email, birthday, URL etc.) based on industry standard vCard. And in fact that's all you need to solve the "re-enter all your personal info" problem for public sites - no need to authenticate public URLs via OpenID, just read them and parse their hCard(s).

See also