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On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:

The recent discussion about academic/industry led me to think that sometimes there is a lack of knowledge of what some groups are doing. History, lack of design, discussing it in a small community, etc make sometimes the technologies and groups unknown. The goals are often the same (data portability) with local differences. An example is data portability between big social networks when some are trying to promote data ownership which can be shared with social networks. Works include technologies, policies and UX studies. Some technologies are drowned in Patent hell.

David Recordon listed a few already in a previous mail. I added a few, and I'm pretty sure I have forgotten many of them (in fact it's quite amazing to see the landscape around identity management and social networks). Some have overlaps or address slightly different goals. Do we have a one liner description for each of them? For example, both wikipedia and the opensocial fails to explain what it is about in the first paragraph.

Activity Streams

an extension to the Atom feed format to express what people are doing around web


APML allows users to share their own personal Attention Profile in much the same way that OPML allows the exchange of reading lists between News Readers.


open source collection of loosely-coupled components to provide consistent identity services.

Data Independence And Survival Best Practices

How to better share your data by promoting reusability, standards and clear policies.


Data portability is the ability for people to reuse their data across interoperable applications. The DataPortability Project works to advance this vision by identifying, contextualizing and promoting efforts in the space.


DigitalMe is a set of components that enable users and applications to interact with InfoCard-compatible web sites and services.


DiSo (dee • soh) is an initiative to facilitate the creation of open, non-proprietary and interoperable building blocks for the decentralized social web.


Description of a Project (DOAP) is an RDF schema and XML vocabulary to describe open-source projects.


FOAF (an acronym of Friend of a friend) is a machine-readable ontology describing persons, their activities and their relations to other people and objects.


FOAF+SSL is a authentication and authorization protocol that links a Web ID to a public key, thereby enabling a global, decentralized/ distributed, and open yet secure social network.


hCard is a microformat for publishing the contact details (which might be no more than the name) of people, companies, organizations, and places, in (X)HTML, Atom, RSS, or arbitrary XML.


Higgins is a browser add-on that helps you log in to websites and apps, manage your digital identities, and control the sharing of your personal information.

Information Card

Information Card metaphor as a key component of an open, interoperable, royalty-free, user-centric identity layer spanning both the enterprise and the Internet.


OpenID is an open, decentralized standard for authenticating users which can be used for access control, allowing users to log on to different services with the same digital identity where these services trust the authentication body.


  • general JavaScript API
  • People and Friends API (people and relationship information)
  • Activities API (publishing and accessing user activity information)
  • Persistence API (simple key-value pair data for server-free stateful applications)


OAuth is an open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a standard method for desktop, mobile and web applications.

Portable Contacts API

Providing users a secure way to access their address books and friends lists without having to take their credentials or scrape their data.

Salmon Protocol


Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is an XML-based standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between security domains, that is, between an identity provider (a producer of assertions) and a service provider (a consumer of assertions).

SIOC - Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities

SIOC provides methods for interconnecting discussion methods such as blogs, forums and mailing lists to each other.

Social Web incubator group

understand the systems and technologies that permit the description and identification of people, groups, organizations, and user- generated content in extensible and privacy-respecting ways.


The new emerging vCard 4.0 Specification for describing people and orgs, including relationships and interests.


Resource Description Framework (RDF) encoding of the vCard profile defined by RFC 2426 and to provide equivalent functionality to its standard format.



XHTML Friends Network (XFN) is an HTML microformat that provides a simple way to represent human relationships using links.

Missing pieces

Some of the missing pieces of technology around sharing data and access control in the realm of personal Web site as a social network node.