Enjoyed some of the afternoon sessions of Bloggercon IV yesterday at CNET. Of particular interest was the sesssion on standards. I’ve been trying to figure a way off of Blogger and on to WordPress or Moveable Type for about a year now. Someone offered to do it for me for money and I’m sure that there are those much more technically adept than I that could do this, but it’s a pain that there is not an easy way.
I’ve blogged a bit about user portability in the past couple of weeks and I’m beginning to see it as a much bigger problem and the need for standards to build portability a more and more important thing to be dealt with.
Another thing that sucks for me right now is that I can’t get all of my Yahoo Calendar data that I’ve been using for 5 years or so onto my 30 Boxes calendar. My calendar data is essentially locked into Yahoo! Calendar.
Blog posts, calendar data, photo metadata, and even getting my RSS feeds out of bloglines and on to NewsGator and then onto Google’s RSS a few months back was not an easy thing to do. I had to put a blog post up about it and have someone show me where the export OPML file was, etc.
And if these things are tough for me then they are tough for the majority of users. *That’s* the real frustrating part. Sure, most of the geeks at Bloggercon yesterday have no problem doing *some* of these transfers. But more and more the creaters or user generated content are not sophisticated techies. They are average people with average lives who still don’t even know what RSS is. And while they may want to try 30 Boxes they will hesitate because their stuff is locked up in Yahoo Calendar.
This is a problem and one that needs to be addressed. I’m not sure who should be building the standards, or what the economic intersts are (this is in fact a big part of the problem in my opinion because there is an economic interest in *not* seeing your customer move).
But what needs to be done with all user generated content is to have systems built that have one click portability. Import in, import out. Direct transfers. And I do continue to believe that much of this must come from cooperation among competitors with each other’s APIs. API to API. Or as Marc Cantor so elegantly put it yesterday, “APIs should be about portability of data in both directions. If you’re gonna suck, you’re gonna spit. I want to come in and I want to go out. It’s about sex, life, love. What goes in, goes out…”
I’ve got a few photos of the event up here. Of course Scott Beale from Laughing Squid though is the quinesential San Francisco event photographer and he has much better and many more shots available here.
It was fun catching up with Chris Pirilo who took a shot of me here. Chris Pirilo is the first result in Google when you do a Google search for just plain Chris. That’s pretty cool. Chris and I talked a bit about user generated content. One of the things I’d like to figure out at Zooomr is how a user can monetize their photostream. Whether through selling stock images or art prints, or in other ways, Chris is one of the experts out there on how users can best monetize their content and has been a proponent and success of this with his own content and internet properties.
ZDNet’s got podcasts and write ups here. More coverage from Nick Bradbury. Jeremiah Owyang who it was finally nice to meet for the first time face to face. Kathleen Craig also has a nice write up for Wired.