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Centralisation Is NOT The (Only) Way To Go

Interesting set of diagrams from DataPortability Blog as Chris Saad talks about moving the discussion of data portability away ("up") from discussing standards and to the benefits that standards can deliver
Sure, Open Standards may facilitate interoperable peering, but that’s just a technicality along a much bigger journey. So while Open Standards are important, they are certainly not the point. Standards come and go (and some stick). The peered, web-like nature of the Internet will outlive us all.

That's one point for us all to remember - forget the technicalities when proposing, selling, implementing, using any computer software and focus on what the darned stuff actually does for PEOPLE!

And the point Chris makes is one of peering against 'hub and spoke' (technical for some, not for those deep down in data portability standards). As he asks:
Can you imagine if there was only one Web server? One FTP server? One Email server? Companies like Google would have certainly never been allowed to exist. They might have been sued by the Acme Web Server company early in their life much like is being sued by Facebook today.

A reason I am v wary of using Facebook as the central store for my info ... but then again what's the difference between using Facebook and Flickr?* But even better, Chris has given us these 2 fine diagrams that I am convinced will travel the world and be used in many slide deck:

(click for full sized versions)

And what does it mean for you out there bringing in social/collaboration software into the organisation? Maybe don't rely 100% on one "do-it-all" piece of software ... you know who I'm talking about.

* See my personal blog for my ongoing thoughts around using Flickr