Making data truly portable

VJAM Learning #3: Know me for who I am
The first session I sat in on at the VJAM was suggested by Peter Parkes who works for We Are Social specialists in helping brands engage with Social Media.

His point was simple but for me quite brilliant. Wouldn't it be great if those of us who travel often could have a data-set of our preferences that we could allow travel companies to access so we don't have to re-key the same old info all the time. A kind of v-card for travel preferences.

This problem of constantly entering personal info to gain access to websites. I don't have a Flickr account because I just never get around to opening up a Yahoo ID.  Open Id is the most widely used attempt at a solution (I think). It's an open source project and a great idea. But I've not seen that many sites using it yet.

So how about data portability for travel sites? Instead of telling your different frequent flyer clubs that you prefer a window seat on short haul and an isle seat on long haul every time you join a new one, just click on your 'TravelID' and it's done for you. Instead of having to tell a tour operator site that you don't have kids and you like adventurous holidays with a bit of beach thrown in each time you query their site for holiday suggestions, just click on your 'TravelID' and the info is pre-populated.

Ideally the user would be able to designate different levels of access too - so brands that you trust you'd give full data to about all your preferences, those you don't just the more basic stuff.

And... how about then matching my profile to similar profiles and making a few different suggestions too. I touched on the need for this 'all knowing randomness' in my Inspire Me post earlier. Sometimes trying something new is a great idea - so being offered something a little different as well as the obvious 'best' choice for me based on my profile would be great. 

A little choice is a nice thing... too much choice is totally debilitating.

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