A few days ago, I was listening to This Week In Google. One of the topics they covered was data liberation, or how Google allows you to bring your data with you if you choose to leave their services. Of course, the data is missing one very important function:
It presents your data in the rawest format possible. For the average user, the kind that doesn’t know how to code, or possibly doesn’t care about it, this is counter productive, because often they can’t access their data in a format that’s easily understandable.
However, as pointed out by some people on the panel, those who are geeks or who really want to display that data are likely to either be more than capable to write the software on their own to make sense of the data or possibly hire someone to do that for them. It didn’t hit me until today that there is a name for such a system:
CMS, or Content Management System.
The thing about data is that when you export it, it’s in its rawest form. In other words, when you export your masterpiece of Google data, it comes to you as a mess of uncooked vegetables, meat and eggs. What a person who exports their data from Google is possibly looking for something that is half-cooked at the very least. In other words I’m looking at that needs only a proper container to be displayed, or for me to finish the last stage of cooking before serving.
I’d be thinking that possibly what would be the MOST ideal scenario is that when I export my data from Google, the food is already cooked. What I would need to do is transfer and make the food fit into a container. Google doesn’t have to do that with my data, that’s my responsibility, but damn wouldn’t I prefer my food to be served to me already cooked, I just need to decide how to present it.
This is where a CMS comes in. I was thinking that perhaps the data could be formatted into several common fields:
And all you would need is possibly some kind of CMS that would understand that basic structure and then allow you to drag and drop your data/stuff into folders that would be easy for you to understand. Hmm…