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Myspace takes the lead in data availability

From Mashable yesterday:

The so-called social Web just became legitimately open, as MySpace has launched the two first implementations of its Data Availability initiative on Flixster and Eventful. Simultaneously, the company is announcing that it will support OpenID, allowing its users to sign into any OpenID-enabled website using their MySpace credentials.

I think this is very cool for both Myspace and Flixster/Eventful. The former just became more useful to its members, and the user experience on the latter will be much improved. Here’s how:

The implementations of Data Availability on Flixster and Eventful work much as you might expect. On Flixster, users can register using their MySpace credentials, at which point they can import their profile data and connect with any of their friends who already have accounts on
Flixster. On Eventful, users can not only import their profile data, but also receive alerts for events coming to their area, based on the artists that the user has friended on MySpace. Hence, if you’re friends with Augustana on MySpace and they are having a concert in your town, you’ll automatically be alerted to it.

And here is how it works technically:

All of this information is synced across the Data Availability supporting sites and MySpace. So, if you update your profile, edit your biography, or remove an artist from your friend’s list on MySpace, this will immediately be reflected on Flixster and Eventful. Certain more sensitive data like religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity are only cahceable for 24 hours by Data  availability partners, while core profile data like age, location, and profile photo can be stored on the third-party site, though still synced with MySpace.

This is pretty good. Early predictions had it that Myspace wouldn’t allow any caching of data on partner sites. It would be much better, of course, if changes made on Flixster or Eventful wrote back to the Myspace platform.

Facebook is widely expected to announce similar developments at its conference this week.