Google, Facebook Join

In a promising sign for the future of data portability across platforms, earlier today Workgroup announced that representatives from Google, Facebook, and Plaxo joined their initative: "We are proud to announce the inclusion of Joseph Smarr (Plaxo), Brad Fitzpatrick (Google) and Benjamin Ling (Facebook) to the DataPortability Workgroup." For more on the group's goals, which includes creating a 'DataPortability Reference Design', see their philosophy and mission:

Our Philosophy: As users, our identity, photos, videos and other forms of personal data should be discoverable by, and shared between our chosen tools or vendors. We need a DHCP for Identity. A distributed File System for data. The technologies already exist, we simply need a complete reference design to put the pieces together.

Our Mission: To put all existing technologies and initiatives in context to create a reference design for end-to-end Data Portability. And, to promote that design to the developer, vendor and end-user community.

From a technology perspective, they encourage an "Invent Nothing" approach that Builds on existing standards like:

Involvement from some of the biggest names in the business means greater potential for real progress on interoperability. For more on this story see ReadWriteWeb and TechMeme.

Be sure to read the next Best Practices article: 5 Best Practices for Mashups