Back in 2001 we wrote an arcane simple perl script just for fun. The script gave you the freedom to export IMDB movies from your ranking to your web page. Now in 2008 and with business goals in mind, we need to export/interact with information from sites like LinkedIn and add it to our handcrafted mashup pipeline or our CRM, but it’s not possible without being blocked, see LinkedIn Scraper for more information.
Data portability is a must (sometimes an API is enough) but the "official" data portability innitiative came very late:
> whois dataportability.org
Created On:07-Nov-2007 04:21:39 UTC
Last Updated On:07-Jan-2008 03:49:01 UTC
Expiration Date:07-Nov-2008 04:21:39 UTC
On the other side, sites like LinkedIn increase their business risks if they share too much data and become easily replaceable. So the question is how to deal with this conflict of interest? An obvious business model is what SalesForce does with AppExchange and Facebook does with Facebook applications: Run your applications within their [eco]system.
So now in 2008 LinkedIn has been lazy to balance between being open or not (even putting a public price to their data sharing policies), but the data portability "lobby" woke up too late, or Late 2.0.