[Freedombox-discuss] Fwd: CrossCloud: A project to get your data out of silos - Knight Foundation
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Sat Jul 20 13:22:18 UTC 2013
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Subject: [liberationtech] Introducing CrossCloud: A project to get
your data out of silos - Knight Foundation
To: Liberation Technologies <liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>
When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, he imagined it being
a better way for people around the world to share knowledge and work
together to solve humanity's greatest problems. It’s often everything
he hoped for, he says, but it sometimes falls short when websites and
applications lock away data. Too often, people are stuck using a site
because that's where their data is or that's where their friends or
co-workers are. Such restrictions stifle innovation and cut off
support for a new generation of vital tools for knowledge sharing.
Today we are happy to announce a Prototype Fund grant to the
Crosscloud Project, an experimental effort led by Tim Berners-Lee and
Sandro Hawke at W3C/MIT. Crosscloud aims to give individuals control
of their own data. It consists of a set of protocols and tools that
allows providers to give individuals control of their data, choose who
can access it and move it to other systems as needed. Building on
standard Semantic Web and Linked Data Technologies, it allows people
to communicate across boundaries.
With Crosscloud, users will be able to:
move easily between competing applications, even run them at the same
time using the same data;
move easily between platforms, working with the same information on
their phones and laptops (while using different software from
move easily between social network platforms, migrating both data and
social connections; and
connect across social network boundaries: collaborate with people and
groups even if they prefer to use different applications and different
The Crosscloud team is currently developing ways to expand the
prototype and build out some applications using the platform. Some
ideas they are exploring include applications that allow users to
chart information about their health; share and comment on web
information; share photos and videos; and have discussions with
friends. In all cases, people can maintain their data and share it as
they like, applying it in any software built with the Crosscloud open
A Crosscloud medical device, for example, would be configured to write
its data to the user's own Crosscloud space, where the data could be
accessed by the people and applications the user has chosen.
Crosscloud also allows software creators to more easily build social
software. Without Crosscloud, creators need to configure and program
their own backend systems and build a critical mass of users. With
Crosscloud, the user picks their own backend and the users can be
shared among all the applications in a particular space.
Crosscloud is one of seven prototypes announced at the MIT-Knight
Civic Media Conference and one of 12 announced by Knight in the last
week. With the Prototype Fund, Knight continues to set goals to speed
up the pace of innovation. By encouraging early-stage experiments for
teams building new projects, we can better serve the information needs
of communities and test human-centered approaches. Through
prototyping teams are given the opportunity to refine and iterate
their projects, test core assumptions and make important discoveries
before attempting to scale. The strategy allows Knight to support more
ideas, gain and share valuable knowledge and learn what works and what
doesn’t. Ultimately, we are giving innovators a channel to act on
their ideas and keep them coming.
For more information about the Prototype Fund or to submit an idea,
For more information and news, follow @crosscloudorg on Twitter.
By Chris Barr, media innovation associate at Knight Foundation, and
Sandro Hawke, technical staff and research scientist at W3C/MIT.
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