Caring is sharing, people, especially when it comes to your personal data. Leading developers from important social-network sites joining a "data-portability" advocacy group doesn't represent history in the making. It's a marketing campaign to make everyone feel sickly sweet, knowing that these websites are so concerned about our information. Like the Care Bears, by signing on to the DataPortability Working Group, top coders like Brad Fitzpatrick, Dave Recordon, and Ben Ling have joined forces to form a group which we can only call by one name. Presenting: The Share Bears!
Wish Bear / Chris Saad: Formed the DataPortability Working Group in the hopes that his wish — that all websites would share their data — comes true for everyone. Although Saad is not a major player at a big Internet company, pretending to make wishes come true is still a lot of fun.
Tenderheart Bear / Brad Fitzpatrick: Helps everyone show and express their feelings. He helps his fellow Share Bears be as caring as they can be, as the most prominent developer to join the Share Bears. The Share Bears don't have a leader, but as the lead developer of OpenID and other open-source tools at blogging company Six Apart, now the poster boy for Google's OpenSocial platform, Brad Fitzpatrick comes closest to it.
Friend Bear / Dave Recordon: As a close friend of Tenderheart Bear and his replacement as spokesman for open technologies at Six Apart, is a kind and friendly bear. Sometimes he disagrees with his buddy over Google's definition of friendly. Thinks "the social graph" is the meaning of being a good friend.
Love-A-Lot Bear / Ben "Bling" Ling: is a pretty and perky bear who helps spread love and help it along wherever he goes, be it Google or Facebook where he recently defected to to lead its platform program.
Birthday Bear / Joseph Smarr: Plaxo's chief architect hates it when people forget birthdays. That's why he wants you to sync up all of your online identities, so no one misses out on your happy day.
Cheer Bear / Matthew Rothenberg: As the representative for well-liked and fairly open social photo site Flickr, is a very happy and perky bear, who helps everyone be their happiest and cheer up those who are unhappy, like those who work for Google or Facebook.
Grumpy Bear / Marc Canter: Teaches us all that it's okay to be grumpy and vocal about open standards sometimes, but it's also silly to let grumpiness go too far when your own philosophy rarely results in business success. Canter's PeopleAggregator is an example of both supporting open technologies and its irrelevance, the silver lining and the rain cloud.
Bedtime Bear / Marc Canter: So special that he captures the personality of two Share Bears, Canter is a very sleepy bear. He helps everyone get a good night's sleep and have sweet dreams of portable data.
Good Luck Bear / Robert Scoble: Isn't a developer and doesn't work for a major Internet player, but sheer luck has made Scoble an intriguing bit player in the data-portability movement.
Editor's note: This is Tim Faulkner's last piece for Valleywag. Faulkner has been a contributor to the site since May 2007.