Google [disclosure: a former employer] introduces the Data Liberation Front to ensure that all its services have simple data export functionality.
Brad Fitzpatrick says:
What does product liberation look like? Said simply, a liberated product is one which has built-in features that make it easy (and free) to remove your data from the product in the event that you’d like to take it elsewhere.
Note the emphasis on free and easy. Online services tend to stop at possible, which falls short of easy by the proverbial Simple Matter of Programming.
Facebook, for example, has a programming interface for each kind of information you store that lets a Facebook application extract it into a file. It’s possible for me to write an application that does so for everything I have on Facebook, but that isn’t the same as having a predefined procedure that archives my entire Facebook presence into a standard file format that most social networking sites can import from.
Good luck to Google in this effort! I myself would go further in asking that the entire behavior (as well as data) of my social-network presence be standardizable and portable, as Ramón Cáceres [disclosure: personal friend] and his collaborators are proposing with their work on virtual individual servers.