Ximian co-founder and intrepid technologist with SUSE Linux, Nat Friedman recently blogged about a “Personal data warehouse,” stating:
What I want is a giant elastic bit bucket in the cloud, with a powerful search engine on top of it.
He goes on to describe several capabilities that he wants the search capabilities to have, essentially bringing together several disparate services available on the web today–such as face recognition (Polar Rose) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR, the simplest form right now may be Evernote‘s)–in order to make his data imminently accessible and usable.
Nat describes several other aspects, all of which in my view comprise not a single service, but a data platform. This Personal Cloud concept really cannot be delivered well by a single service provider–you don’t want it to be. Once you have your personal data in the cloud, the next step is to have a selection of relevant applications to choose from for helping you to manage your Personal Cloud. That means APIs that allow developers to offer best-of-breed services, such as face recognition, as applications that you can use with your cloud-hosted personal data.
All of that reminds me that I really need to write up a post about the necessity for data owners (you and me as individuals) having ultimate control over who can access our data (and what data they can access).