Data Portability Workgroup
The Data Portability Group appears to be trying to regain some renewed community respect by announcing its list of Steering Group Officers. Will it be enough or do we still need to see some real "deliverables" before the respect is regained?Marshall Kirkpatrick from the ReadWriteWeb provides us some insights into the changes happening within the group and offers his thoughts on what this could mean.

A New Chair and Vice-Chair

Daniela Barbosa is the first chair of the Steering Group. She works as a Business Development Manager at Synaptica, a Dow Jones company. Kirkpatrick believes she may have the ability to help the group move past the current public criticisms and widen awareness of other group members' work. She may also face some challenges of her own though coming from a big company. Barbosa is also leading the task force called the DataPortability Grid Tool, which will track tangible company support. Elisa Bizannes is the Vice-chair and is leading the Mission/Vision task force. In addition, J. Trent Adams became the new secretary and Brady Brim-DeForest the Treasurer.

Other Action Groups

Other Action Groups and their leaders include: * Communication Task Force, led by Chris Saad * Governance Task Force, led by Steve Greenberg -- CEO of Ciabe, a white-label social networking service * Branding/Logo Task Force, led by Brady Brim-DeForest These action groups seem to be about how the group needs to operate. It would be good to know what things they are actively working on and if there are any groups assigned to specific actionable deliverables.

Driving Best Practices

Kirkpatrick believes that the Data Portability Working Group could go a long way to helping develop best practices and communications practices to support data portability. Things like privacy, monetization and general confusion appear to be slowing adoption of these types of measures. The development of these best practices would go hand-in-hand with the work the new Open Web Foundation is doing with coding standards. This foundation was just recently announced at the OSCON conference as a complimentary group to the Data Portability Group. What would be nice is to hear regular status reports coming out of both these groups in the form of press releases or something similar. It's difficult to understand what exactly is going on with the Data Portability Group in particular as their website is difficult to move through. Timelines for expected documents would also be a benefit. If companies are to really start to wrap their heads and their business around true data portability and open standards, they will need support from these groups.