Damn the Facebooks and the MySpaces. The last time we checked, there was this thing called the internet that had 6 billion users. It's time to take our personal data out of Mr. McGregor's little gardens and put it back where it belongs -- free and open on the open web.

Social networks like Facebook and MySpace are taking the web by storm because they make it easy to manage your personal data and keep in touch with people you know. But to get value out, you have to put something in -- photos, contacts, appointments, lists of your interests and your blog musings.

Therein lies the rub. When entering data into Facebook, you're sending it on a one-way trip. Want to show somebody a video or a picture you posted to your profile? Unless they also have an account, they can't see it. Your pictures, videos and everything else is stranded in a walled garden, cut off from the rest of the web.

Get the full story at Wired