Messenger Connect – Making your data more portable while retaining control over its use

Angus Logan has posted about Microsoft’s effort to allow for data portability over the net with Windows Live Messenger Connect. From what I remember from conversations with Angus, the point is not creating YASN (yet Another Social Network) but giving you some tools to thread the ones you belong to together.

Angus’ words are here, in his post he lays out a few of the core principles that guided their approach. They are:

1. Data Portability (you own your data) – I feel strongly about this one and am glad they have this listed as number one.

2. You have control over your data – this is tough in practice, but I am very glad they have this as a core principle. Time will tell on this point.

3. Right Data for the Right Scenario – This may already be part of points 1 & 2, but as we move forward into a world that is more location aware and thus better able to grasp the context you are in (in a car, with a client and 2 of your co-workers who are your ski buddies) – when you fire up a device that is using shared content, it should really only display the lowest common denominator of content.

The issues at play here, as well as the interaction models are pretty complex. It will be interesting to see how well Microsoft can engage the User Experience – Interaction Design community to help them understand how this can be designed into their experiences and the benefits it brings.

I am looking forward to digging into this and further discussions with Angus.

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