Digg joins Microsoft, Facebook in data portability group

Community news site joins effort to help social network users move content to multiple sites

With Today's announcement that Digg is joining the Data Portability Project, the group added another firm to its roster of technology heavyweights lobbying for standards that would allow users to control content they create on social networks.

Earlier this month, Microsoft, Facebook and Google each announced plans to join the effort to allow the sharing of user photos, videos and other forms of personal data among different social networking sites.

Digg joined the group because it believes that its users own their own data, noted Steve Williams, Digg programmer and technical lead.

"From the start, Digg has supported the idea that you own your own data," Williams noted in the blog post announcing the move. "Want to sync your Digg friends network with another service? We want to help you do that. Want to use your Digg activity to get recommendations from another Web site? We're working on that, too."

Digg already supports many standards -- including RSS, OPML and hCard -- that let users transfer data to non-Digg sites, Williams added. In addition, Digg this week added support for MicroID, a microformat designed to let users prove to other services that they own their Digg user profile, he added. Digg plans to add support for OpenID in the coming months, according to Williams.

The Data Portability Group came to the forefront of the Web 2.0 world earlier this month when prominent tech blogger Robert Scoble was temporarily kicked off of Facebook for running a script to download his contact information to export it to another site. While he was later reinstated to the popular social network, Scoble noted that the experience had prompted him to join the data portability group.

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