Open Service

Tim Bray builds on a question by Tim O'Reilly: "What standard of open-ness can we apply to Software-as-a-Service offerings, to the Googles, Yahoos, and Amazons of this world?". His answer: Open Data.

At the end of the day, information outlives software and transcends software and is more valuable than software. I think any online service can call itself “Open” if it makes, and lives up to, this commitment: Any data that you give us, we’ll let you take away again, without withholding anything, or encoding it in a proprietary format, or claiming any intellectual-property rights whatsoever.

It seems to me that if you don’t have that, you have nothing, and if you do have it, you have, if not everything, at least a solid foundation to build on.

That’s basic, Level 0, openness. For extra credit, a service could also say: We acknowledge your interest in any value-added information we distill from what you give us, and will share it back with you to the extent we can do so while preserving the privacy of others.

So, do we need some sort of Open Service analogue of the Open Source Definition? It couldn’t hurt. I suspect that if we can get the basic idea across, then we’re in old-fashioned consumer-advocacy territory; and I suspect that it will only take a small number of painful experiences for consumers to understand the issue at a pretty deep level.

mensuelles Archives

Recent Entries

  • Steve Jobs

    "Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because...

  • Your privacy on MOTOBLUR by Motorola

    After the Nokia Ovi Store carelessness, it's now Motorola who's allowing strangers to get access to your private information on their MOTOBLUR portal. Exactly like...

  • How to resume a broken ADC download

    (I'm documenting this trick for myself to remember, but it can be useful for others…) Apple, on its Apple Developer Connection site, has a bad...

  • WTF is this ‘myEventWatcherDiv’ doing in my web?

    All of a sudden I started to find the following line in most of the web pages I was browsing, including ones I made where...

  • Your privacy on Nokia Ovi Store

    My friend Adam Greenfield recently complained about the over-engineering culture at Nokia: I was given an NFC phone, and told to tap it against the...