PDA 2011: Day 1 Closing Keynote

Brian W. Fitzpatrick (The Data Liberation Front)

The Data Liberation Front wants to get people to think about how to get their data out of the cloud. The Data Liberation started in 1988. It’s very important that people have control over their data and make it easy to take their data.

There are business benefits to making it easy for users’ to take out their data. You get users’ trust by doing something good for the users. It’s not altruism, but a long-term strategy.

Choice: it is easier than ever for users to choose your product and to leave your product

Trust: You need to get the users’ trust in order to get their business for the long-term.

“Lock-in is not a business model.” It’s not good for users to not have control over their data. The Internet breaks all the distribution rules. It costs almost nothing. Now you get lock-in through innovation. Need to make product so good that the user doesn’t want (or need) to go anywhere else.

Most users don’t think about data liberation until the moment they want to leave.

Three questions to ask:
Can I get my data out?
How much is it going to cost to get my data out?
How much of my time is it going to take to get my data out?

Need a big download button to batch download your data. But there are issues: conversion issues, huge downloads, proprietary formats, and the largest issue: business that still try to lock-in people.

APIs are only the first step. Many users can’t use APIs. There is still a lot of work to do with data liberation. Want to make it even easier.

Take away: Data liberation for the win! Spread the word and the three questions to ask before giving a company your data to your family, friends, and library/archives users.