Pictures from the past week +

So I have had a whirlwind of a week (for the third one in a row). I began at the Social Venture Network in Tuscon. There were some cool companies there like Peter Strugatz’s Ice Stone, Zak Zaidman of Kupali, There was Greg (founder of Odwala) and his new Juice Company Adina (really tasty) Peacekeeper Makeup, indigenous designs (actually good looking organic cloths)

The internet Identity workshop went Great! There are pictures here at Meng’s site and on flickr.

Before TagCamp I had a good meeting with a client of mine – opinity.com. I got decked out for Tag Camp :)

At tag camp I had a good time – although I was a bit ADD flitting between sessions. I was honored to be asked facilitate the closing circle.

I got to share i-tags wiki. It was great to get that out there finally. I was the one who introduced Mary and Drummond. As soon as Mary explained to me how technorati tags worked – I thought that XRI might fit in perfectly. They being more technically savvy then I have put a bunch of work into innovating a way to have open tags really happen.

Some cool use cases for my data

I had a great conversation with Stowe at BlogON he wrote up some of what we talked about:

She suggested that we examine the asymmetries in relationships between individuals and businesses, and the likelihood that people will increasingly demand more symmetric relationships. As just one example, Kaliya maintains that people will want to retain information about their purchasing history, and not simply cede it to those businesses that we do business with. And, we may want to invert the normal course of business, based on this information. Imagine that I am traveling to San Francisco, and I could publish some version of my hotel rental history and interests through some as now unavailble solution (a mirror-image of eBay, perhaps?) that would allow hotels to publish bids to me for rooms. This general observation about increasing the symmetry in relationships through social technologies will be a springboard into related within-the-business topics, as well. I believe that social tools are inherently subversive, because they will disrupt established patterns of authority, and naturally push business toward acting as more democratic swarmocracies.

I can’t wait to talk about this more at the Symposium next month on the session “Is Business Ready For Social Software?”.

sxoring at BlgoON.

I continue on my road trip and landed in I landed in NY last night. I went to a really noisy blogging evening and left. Dick was there talking to Mary (that is his hand).
He is here presenting SXORE that debuted at Web 2.0. I think this is a great step in the right direction to save the blogosphere from spam. We need more tools like it. The little bit of the demo that I saw at web2.0 showed a great design and a lot of thought into the user interface. I am really glad that Dick and Sxip are part of the identity conversation because figuring out the UI in this new emerging set of identity offerings will be critical to success.

I have seen the possibility of a tool like this for a while because my sense it that right now companies are very hesitant to let someone else handle authentication to their primary ‘login’ (the login that a blogger uses to blog on their blog). But they are willing for the sake of the social value it brings and the easy of moving around the blogosphere let a decentralized network handle ‘secondary’ login to comment. I hope that others join the party in this space with tools and that there is an openness to let users choose which form of identifier they want to use.

Your birthdate please – I need to enter it into the computers if you want to by cigarets

Your birthdate please – I need to enter it into the computers if you want to by cigarets.

This is what I heard said to the woman in front of me at a Walgreens across the street from my hotel in Memphis, TN. I inquired to the store clerk if this was the law to ask for someone’s birth date and enter it into the computer and she said yes for cigarets and ‘other items’ (I didn’t find out what they were). It seems that here in TN they have begun to break down the separation between the issuance of documents that assert one is over 18 and the presentation of those same documents to engage in commerce.

I wonder how many other states have similar laws. It makes me a bit nervous to think about the potential for states to require the swiping of an identity card to make such purchase. With all of the new tools we are creating that are to empower people how do we ensure they are not abused. Maybe Bob was right – if we build them then we should expect them to be abused by requiring people to turn over certain kinds of data they have about themselves. And so we should not build them.

I am inspired by the possibilities for empowerment but this little incident really makes me wonder.

NTEN roundup

I spent Tuesday in DC at the NTEN – Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network conference on Data Integration. Andy and I were at the morning session on open standards. We both got comments afterwards that our comments and information about i-names and XDI were better then the content of the panelists. Andy had this to say about his learnings.

They are all talking about how to better tether their horses to their carts. I tried to tell them about cars… They wanted to know how you tether a horse to a car…There needs to be a real paradigm shift. It’s going to take some time, and a lot of work. The glimmer of hope; there were a few people there that really got it. Together with those few people I think we can move this stuff forward by leading by example.

I got to reconnect with Ed Batista the former ED of NTEN and now Director of Attention Trust (he also is 1/2 time at Beconfire as a consultant). He specifically mentioned Eric’s article about Web 3.0 looking at Identity and Web 2.0.

Marty the Master of Networking

Marty Kerns gave a great presentation. The take away that was most relevant to the identity world was this.

Simple rules create complex behavior.

Complex rules create simple behavior.

He wowed the audience because he treats presentation as performance art just like R0ml, Doc, Lessig and Dick do. After the NTEN national conference last year on his recommendation I went to see Tufte’s workshop on the visual display of information. It was great. This weekend when I presented twice I incorporated one of his techniques “the black screen”. The audiences loved the talks and it was fun to energize see an energized audience.
Talk began by highlighting that social networks are not new…they are family friends and college room mates. They are increasingly stretched because new communications tools help us stay connected over distance better then ever before (The high-school to College IM phenomena.).

How do you scale when social networks show up to your issue? If 10,000 folks showed up for 10 min what could they do for you?

There were 5 core elements that he invited us to look at

Strong Social Ties – we are overwhelmed by information so the information we are most likely to pay attention to will come through our social network.

Rich Communications Grid – how do you communicate with others.

Common Story - the core 10%t hat share story they do 90% of the work.

Shared Resources – working together these networks are bossless but leader-full.

Clarity of Purpose – this emerges as the above fall into place

Web 2.0 round up …

Web 2.0 was fun. The acoustics sucked (we had to yell to talk to each other at breaks the venue was sooo maxed out). The coolest things were:
Zimbra - The open source collaboration suite.
Transparensee - Discovery Search Engine that sorts results as you move little sliders.
Wink – The social search engine.
zvents - Discover events in your neighborhood.

Attention Trust – You Own: Yourself; Your data; Your attention.

Your Rights: When you give your attention to sites that adhere to the AttentionTrust, these rights are guaranteed.

Property: You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish. You have CONTROL.

Mobility: You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to. You have the ability to TRANSFER your attention.

Economy: You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return. Your attention has WORTH.

Transparency: You can see exactly how your attention is being used. You can DECIDE who you trust.

Dumbest thing said on the stage:
Bary Diller dismissed the idea that citizens with blogs and video editing software were major threats to the entertainment industry. “There is not that much talent in the world,” Diller said. “There are very few people in very few closets in very few rooms that are really talented and can’t get out.” “People with talent and expertise at making entertainment products are not going to be displaced by 1,800 people coming up with their videos that they think are going to have an appeal.” (this is excerted from Andreas Duss)

To top it off it was Echoed by Vinod Khosla the next day. I guess the big boys don’t really get it – it is like . The cool kids do so…watch out.

Reminds me of this story about denial that I just read in FAST COMPANY (one of my FAVORITE magazines)

Jon Wilkins had just finished telling a room of 100 or so of his peers that their industry is institutionally incapable of giving clients the smartest ideas. How ad agencies and media agencies that decide where ads run are built like factories, focused on one output (and that output is their handcuff). How a new model needs to emerge, one that can provide unbiased advice to marketers.

“You’re saying everything’s changing and it’s not.”

Before Wilkins could respond, one of his clients intercepted the challenge. “I used to kid myself I wasn’t going bald,” said Mark Finney, the clearly hairless head of media for Orange, Europe’s third-largest wireless carrier. “I’d pull my hair forward, I’d cover it over this way, I’d look in the mirror and think, It’s never going to happen to me. Then suddenly I started realizing I looked really stupid. . . . I hate to say it, but Jon’s right and you’re wrong. You’re covering your baldness, and at a certain point, you’re going to look stupid.”

Future Assertion of Note:
Mary Meeker talked about the future of looking for stuff.
Search, Find, and Obtain so that there will be little difference between Marketing, Advertising and Selling.
Her presentation is full of numbers worth checking out.

Acquisitions of Note:
Weblogs Inc was bought by AOL (the deal closed in July just announced though)
Upcoming.org was bought by Yahoo

Alliance of Note:
Sun – Google (comments by Johnathan CEO of Sun)

Rumor of note:
Microsoft buying AOL
Notably Absent:
Discussion of the open source platforms like Drupal that are major parts of Web 2.0 (the people collaborating) and the communities of developers and small businesses around them. I guess cause they are open source and they don’t have thousands to shell out the Tim and John they don’t rate. Hopefully we can do a conference with the cool kids building open source ecologies.

Getting to the Promised Layer

The Internet Identity Workshop just got a promotion on O’Reilly with the publishing of an article I wrote. The Identity 2.0 Gathering: Getting to the Promised Layer (it occurred to me after it was already published that the last word should be Layer instead of Land – oh well).

Here is the opening….

There were many who thought that an identity solution would emerge to support single sign on (SSO) shortly after the Web’s emergence in 1994. An SSO solution has proven very elusive. Solving internet identity management, creating an efficient, reliable ecosystem, is often alluded to as “The Holy Grail.” One of the reasons for this elusiveness is the fact that identity is no small matter. It lies at the core of who we are as social beings. There are many ways to think about what identity is, such as: how we define ourselves (self-assertions), how others see us (facts about us), and what others think about us (our reputation).

When tackling the problem of representing these elements, the first challenge is settling on a protocol used in a system that is flexible and broad enough to encompass the enormously wide range of ways people around the globe use and define identity. Identity protocols are not like TCP/IP–simply just connecting two machines. While reading Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization, I came across this quote that summed up the challenge. “Protocol is synonymous with possibility … Protocol outlines the playing field for what can happen, and where. If one chooses to ignore a certain protocol, then it becomes impossible to communicate on that particular channel. No protocol, no connection.” The edge use cases must be considered carefully so that they are included within the protocol’s possibility landscape. The inherent complexity of this next identity layer of the Net is one of the reasons it has yet to successfully emerge.

The Laundry has opened its doors

Marc Andreesons latest startup came out of the laundry today (prior it was called 24h laundry) – so welcome Ning to the world.

We’ve built an online service (or Playground, as we like to call it) for building and using social applications. Social “apps” are web applications that enable people to match, transact, and communicate with other people.

Should be very interesting to see what gets built on this “playground.” It also seems like a good place for XRI/XDI and perhaps also reputation for the different participating folks.

How data packets work…a movie grandma can understand.

I am writing this paper for the Gandhain Nonviolence Conference today. IO have been thinking a lot about how to “explain” the internet to these peace loving types. I found this movie that does a good job of explaining data-packets moving around the net. Believe it or not they are all animated. i would have put more information in about rendering web pages but it is a great intro.

Marc on the Open Web

Marc Canter’s AlwaysOn article finally is out. Breaking the Web Wide Open!

For decades, “walled gardens” of proprietary standards and content have been the strategy of dominant players in mainframe computer software, wireless telecommunications services, and the World Wide Web—it was their successful lock-in strategy of keeping their customers theirs. But like it or not, those walls are tumbling down. Open web standards are being adopted so widely, with such value and impact, that the web giants—Amazon, AOL, eBay, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo—are facing the difficult decision of opening up to what they don’t control.

Identity is the first topic covered and he does a great job summarizing:

Right now, you don’t really control your own online identity. At the core of just about every online piece of software is a membership system. Some systems allow you to browse a site anonymously—but unless you register with the site you can’t do things like search for an article, post a comment, buy something, or review it. The problem is that each and every site has its own membership system. So you constantly have to register with new systems, which cannot share data—even you’d want them to. By establishing a “single sign-on” standard, disparate sites can allow users to freely move from site to site, and let them control the movement of their personal profile data, as well as any other data they’ve created.

Identity 2.0 is all about users controlling their own profile data and becoming their own agents. This way the users themselves, rather than other intermediaries, will profit from their ID info. Once developers start offering single sign-on to their users, and users have trusted places to store their data—which respect the limits and provide access controls over that data, users will be able to access personalized services which will understand and use their personal data.

The Initiatives:
Right now, Identity 2.0 is under construction through various efforts from Microsoft (the “InfoCard” component built into the Vista operating system and its “Identity Metasystem”), Sxip Identity, Identity Commons, Liberty Alliance, LID (NetMesh’s Lightweight ID), and SixApart’s OpenID.

More Movers and Shakers:
Identity Commons and Kaliya Hamlin, Sxip Identity and Dick Hardt, the Identity Gang and Doc Searls, Microsoft’s Kim Cameron, Craig Burton, Phil Windley, and Brad Fitzpatrick, to name a few.

Web 2.0 Design Patterns

Buried on last page of Tim O’Reilly’s article is this great list of design patterns for Web 2.0. I thought it was worth posting them here so the Identity community can reflect on how Identity enhances these patterns and perhaps what other patterns we might add like – User Centric Identity.

In his book, A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander prescribes a format for the concise description of the solution to architectural problems. He writes: “Each pattern describes a problem that occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice.”

1. The Long Tail
Small sites make up the bulk of the internet’s content; narrow niches make up the bulk of internet’s the possible applications. Therefore: Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.

2. Data is the Next Intel Inside
Applications are increasingly data-driven. Therefore: For competitive advantage, seek to own a unique, hard-to-recreate source of data.

3. Users Add Value
The key to competitive advantage in internet applications is the extent to which users add their own data to that which you provide. Therefore: Don’t restrict your “architecture of participation” to software development. Involve your users both implicitly and explicitly in adding value to your application.

4. Network Effects by Default
Only a small percentage of users will go to the trouble of adding value to your application. Therefore: Set inclusive defaults for aggregating user data as a side-effect of their use of the application.

5. Some Rights Reserved.
Intellectual property protection limits re-use and prevents experimentation. Therefore: When benefits come from collective adoption, not private restriction, make sure that barriers to adoption are low. Follow existing standards, and use licenses with as few restrictions as possible. Design for “hackability” and “remixability.”

6. The Perpetual Beta
When devices and programs are connected to the internet, applications are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services. Therefore: Don’t package up new features into monolithic releases, but instead add them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience. Engage your users as real-time testers, and instrument the service so that you know how people use the new features.

7. Cooperate, Don’t Control
Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating data services. Therefore: Offer web services interfaces and content syndication, and re-use the data services of others. Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely-coupled systems.

8. Software Above the Level of a Single Device
The PC is no longer the only access device for internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected. Therefore: Design your application from the get-go to integrate services across handheld devices, PCs, and internet servers.

O’Reilly’s thoughts on Identity in the context of Web 2.0

I just read through Tim’s five pager on Web 2.0 and found the highlights that relate to Identity.

Meanwhile, startups like Sxip are exploring the potential of federated identity, in quest of a kind of “distributed 1-click” that will provide a seamless Web 2.0 identity subsystem…While the jury’s still out on the success of any particular startup or approach, it’s clear that standards and solutions in these areas, effectively turning certain classes of data into reliable subsystems of the “internet operating system”, will enable the next generation of applications.

A further point must be noted with regard to data, and that is user concerns about privacy and their rights to their own data. In many of the early web applications, copyright is only loosely enforced. For example, Amazon lays claim to any reviews submitted to the site, but in the absence of enforcement, people may repost the same review elsewhere. However, as companies begin to realize that control over data may be their chief source of competitive advantage, we may see heightened attempts at control.

Much as the rise of proprietary software led to the Free Software movement, we expect the rise of proprietary databases to result in a Free Data movement within the next decade. One can see early signs of this countervailing trend in open data projects such as Wikipedia, the Creative Commons, and in software projects like Greasemonkey, which allow users to take control of how data is displayed on their computer.

I hope that Identity Common’s who’s founding principles assert this Freedom loud and clear can lead the way on this.

Users must be treated as co-developers, in a reflection of open source development practices (even if the software in question is unlikely to be released under an open source license.) The open source dictum, “release early and release often” in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, “the perpetual beta,” in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.

Lightweight Programming Models
There are several significant lessons here:
Think syndication, not coordination. Simple web services, like RSS and REST-based web services, are about syndicating data outwards, not controlling what happens when it gets to the other end of the connection. This idea is fundamental to the internet itself, a reflection of what is known as the end-to-end principle.

It’s easy to see how Web 2.0 will also remake the address book. A Web 2.0-style address book would treat the local address book on the PC or phone merely as a cache of the contacts you’ve explicitly asked the system to remember. Meanwhile, a web-based synchronization agent, Gmail-style, would remember every message sent or received, every email address and every phone number used, and build social networking heuristics to decide which ones to offer up as alternatives when an answer wasn’t found in the local cache.

DIDW at Web 2.0

We will here a lot about this this week: What is Web 2.0?
Eric Norlan summarizes it this way.

“Web 2.0″ is the idea that the web is now the platform. In the development of computing we always think in “platforms”

You’ll find is a bunch of companies that are building applications (and sub-platforms) on the Web 2.0 meme — and they *all* are either touching digital identity or going to need digital identity.

I’m pleased to report that a truly significant thing is occurring — the identity architects in the enterprise are beginning to mingle with the identity folks out in end-user land.

I believe the technology stars are beginning to align; that the marketplace is beginning (beginning, I say) to catch up with the conversation; that maybe – just maybe…

This is great news. Sounds like we should have a BOF or some other identity gang/workshop related gathering. I went to look for the listing of BOFs and or the event wiki – couldn’t find it. I wonder what kind of Web 2.0 event is this with no wiki? Hopefully all will become clear on Wednesday :).

the DataWeb is coming…MasterCard has services

I found this in a MasterCard Croporate Solutions Advertisement in the Economist Technology Quarterly:

Could you stand to lose some of the headaches associated with your global travel management program? Then consider MasterCard. Not only our Multinational Corporate Card Program let you manage global information (like enhanced hotel folio and airline data) straight from our Global Data Repository into your expense management system. But our Smart Data OnLine(tm) lets you seemlessly organize, consolidate, and analyze spend data – anytime, anywhere in 13 languages and virtually every currency — to cut costs and increase productivity. That gives you added leverage in negotiations with suppliers, plus better compliance control, expense reporting and analysis. And since MasterCard is accepted at over 21 million locations worldwide, you’ll never get panicked phone calls from your associates abroad.

Halley and I talk Identity – Podcast from BlogHer

One of the highlights of BlogHer for me was my first podcasting experience with Halley Suitt. I was sitting around at a ‘podcasting’ station and she showed up and the John Furrier who runs PodTech was there and so we did a spontaneous recording… here is the result. Wow! listening I actually don’t mind my voice.

How do we make the internet a trusted place?
Is the net a more dangerous place for women?
Halley discusses her digital identity experiences – writing about sex on the net, and lingerie photos of her on the net.

I mention the founding of Virtual Rights to address this new era of personal representation online. I share what inspires me how we can use these tools to empower us as citizens.