Infoware Entrance/Exit Strategies and Gmail

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From Jon Udell’s post here:

Exactly. When I think about meshing my own data with an infoware-style service, there are two key strategies I need to consider:

  1. The entry strategy. In the case of del.icio.us, it was easy to weave my own stuff into the service. Using the procedure I detailed here, tags that I maintain on my blog entries are automatically sprayed into del.icio.us. With little effort, I was able to create hundreds of integration points between two complex information surfaces — my blog and del.icio.us. This was so effective that I decided to use del.icio.us for tag surfing of my blog.
  2. The exit strategy. With first-generation infoware services it’s hard or maybe impossible to retract the information you’ve given them. Second-generation infoware challenges that notion. You can’t delete reviews you write for Amazon, which is why I’ve never written one there. (Instead I write about books on my own blog where services such as All Consuming can find them.) But you can delete links you submit to del.icio.us or photos you upload to Flickr.

Couldn’t agree more, and while I like del.icio.us a lot (check the icon to your right), I actually think Gmail is the best example of what a web service – not in the SOAP/XML/etc sense, but the web application sense – should be. There are all kinds of hacks available for the service, albeit unsanctioned ones. And as far as the Exit strategy goes – which Udell is right to highlight – we have the following

But that will come, says the Google founders, who promise users their mail will not be held hostage. “We will make it possible for you to get your e-mail out of Gmail if you ever want to,” Page told Playboy.

Whatever the service, however, holding data hostage is clearly the wrong way to go. Which has me thinking a lot about one of my favorite Windows apps, Microsoft OneNote.


  1. After reading your blog last night i was thinking – why not use a blog as onenote in the sky? i spent all day using an Orange SPV phone to take notes, i wrote emails to myself, which i will now either blog or put in onenote. add this concept to your new schtick on intranets blogs and some interesting ideas play out with respect to KM.

    the key question is the public/private balance. NDAs and trust issues.

  2. indeed. and i think that's where inside the firewall and behind the firewall blogging comes in. be interesting to see where we head with this.

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