There are various services on the Web that allow card collectors to store their inventory. I’m not going to go over the specific services or the features that are offered—but I do want to mention a few things that you should be aware of before you start storing you inventory.
1. Data import/export. This is one of the first things I look for wherever I store my data. If they are confident you will like their service, they will also offer a way to get out of that service. Before you add any data to the service, make sure an export exists.
If a standard has been established for a data format, the import and export should support this standard. And if a data format has not been established, it might be a good idea to create one with your competitors.
2. Any data you enter is yours. That means you should have the ability to access your data in multiple ways. Your data should be accessible. And where applicable, you should have enough control over your data to make it private or public.
Make sure you understand your options if the service goes out of business or they make you an unhappy customer? Suppose you do export your data. Are you able to do anything with that data? Make sure you understand your options regarding your data.
I found a good writeup on John Batelle’s Searchblog regarding this subject. He identifies several more issues that we should be aware of with our data. I think these are very important to the future of the web.
- Data Transparency. We can identify and review the data that companies have about us. A sticky issue is whether we can also identify and review data that is made about us based on other data the company might have. (IE, based on your behavior, we at Amazon know you might also like….)
- Data Portability. We can take copies of that data out of the company’s coffers and offer it to others or just keep copies for ourselves.
- Data Editing. We can request deletions, editing, clarifications of our data for accuracy and privacy.
- Data Anonymity. We can request that our data not be used, cognizant of the fact that that may mean services are unavailable to us.
- Data Use. We have rights to know how our data is being used inside a company.
- Data Value. The right to sell our data to the highest bidder.
- Data Permissions. The right to set permissions as to who might use/benefit from/have access to our data.
Keep in mind that I am writing this specifically regarding our card data. Are you considering these when you enter your data? Let me know what you think. I’ll probably touch on this a lot as I work on creating applications and see others create them as well.
Here a a few more links you might find useful: