Three Visions

An ecosystem of Personal Data Servers can enable a wide range of applications. We are focusing primarily on the following Three Visions:

  • Vendor Relationship Management (VRM)
  • Federated Social Web
  • Personal Applications

What all these visions have in common is the idea to put identity and personal data “back under the control” of individuals.

Vendor Relationship Management

Vision #1VRM is the opposite of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Its goal is to provide customers with the tools to manage their relationships with vendors. A PDS is an important component for achieving this goal.

For managing relationships with vendors, a distinction can be made between “Snapshot Scenarios” (giving a vendor access to your data in a one-time transaction) and “Relationship Scenarios” (giving a vendor ongoing access to your data).

Some scenarios may involve bidirectional (read/write) access. Such scenarios can include verification of data and importing data from already existing sources.

Federated Social Web

Individuals can not only use their PDS’s to interact with companies and organizations, but also to interact with each other and even with users of other existing social networks, thereby forming a globally distributed social network (“a Facebook without a single Facebook”).

Example PDS applications for decentralized social networking:

  • Social Address Book
  • Instant Messaging (“Whisper”)
  • Photo Sharing
  • Event Sharing
  • Activity Streams

Personal Applications

As a Third Vision, the Personal Data Store can also be useful just by itself, without necessarily communicating with individuals and/or companies. It provides a set of core services such as access control or monitoring that are always available, no matter how you use your PDS. This means that you can always manage and review who has access to what parts of your data. As you navigate the web, you can maintain a permanent connection to your PDS for recording your entire digital footprint, and for so-called “Personal Applications” that perform useful functions based on YOUR data.

The common element of the Three Visions is the Personal Data Store. At its core lies XDI – a data model and protocol for data storage and exchange. Through various connectors (e.g. OStatus, OpenID, OAuth, etc.), the PDS can seamlessly integrate and communicate with other systems.