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If you haven't seen it, Brian Oberkirch wrote a great post yesterday on how he sees long-term value and creativity being created in the realm of "data portability", "portable social networks", "social network interop", "an interoperable social ecosystem", or whatever you wish to call it. I certainly agree with him that the large PR wins of "<insert big company here> joins DataPortability!" aren't solely the type that will ultimately take the ecosystem to an entirely new level. Yes, they lead toward a growing ecosystem (or act as a validation of one) around decentralized social applications, but at the end of the day I completely agree when he says, "if you want to see the future of social network interop, watch smaller, more nimble and daring players". Ma.gnolia going OpenID only is a great example of this already happening.

So the debate ranges on in comments to Brian's post, I keep working on cool stuff at Six Apart to help do our part, and will keep working to push technologies like OpenID, OAuth, and Microformats toward more ubiquitous adoption. What I promise I won't do is to throw one of the communities, that I'm trying to help, under the bus as I work to move this entire ecosystem forward.