You know your conference is to cheap when…

You know your conference is to cheap when other conferences offer you $200 discounts to register EARLY and yours only costs $200.

In case you missed it the Internet Identity Workshop has an announcement up and registration is open. Phil and I implore you to PLEASE register early so we know how many of you are coming.

We subtly softened our language about “user-centric identity” to take into account that there is some concern that this might be going to far in one direction and it may be that the parameters of the relationship in the middle is where the focus needs to be.

The Internet Identity Workshop focuses on what has been called user-centric identity. Basically asking the question how can people manage their own identity across the range of websites, services, companies and organizations that they belong to, purchase from and participate with. IIW is a working meeting for a range of groups focused on the technical, social and legal issues arising with the emergence identity, relationship and social layer of the web.

I think this year Identity as a service will make a strong appearance. Companies like Symplified are doing interesting things that have application in the enterprise market first but could have usefulness on the consumer side maybe sooner then we think.

More from the announcement:
As a community we have been exploring these kinds of questions:

  • How are social networking sites and social media tools applying user-centric identity? (this is the question I am interested in knowing more about. How is it working now that you can actually implement some of this stuff – it is not just big ideas any more)
  • What are the open standards to make it work? (identity and semantic)
  • What are technical implementations of those standards?
  • How do different standards and technical implementations interoperate?
  • What are the new social norms and legal constructs needed to make it work?
  • What tools are needed to make it usably secure for end-users?
  • What are the businesses cases / models that drive all this?

Our event is highly participatory anyone who wants to present can do so. The agenda is made all together on Tuesday morning. We do this unconference style – for those who have not yet been you can read what community leaders have said about the effectiveness of the format.

If you are NEW please come to Monday’s introductory session starting at 1pm. If you have attended before it is worth coming to get the latest updates on where things are.

Yes it is CHEAP – $200 if you are an independant, and $350 if you come from a corporateion. You get all your meals paid for (healthy food – some say the best ever conference food).

If you want to come and you can’t afford it – talk to us – we want you there if you want to be there.

If you are an Identity blogger and have been to IIW PLEASE blog about this one coming up. We also have a blog sidebar logo you an put up.

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Identity Books Arrive

So I had two book shipments arrive today – i thought I would share them in case any of you out there also are reading or hope to read these books soon. Let me know.

From AMAZON today came

Identity and Control: How Social Formations Emerge, Second Edition by Harrison C. White.
This one was recommended by the Value Networks mailing list that I am on. It dives into the construction of sociocultural context. Chapter one is titled Identities and Control. Should be good.

I am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher, Bach) This one was recomended to my by Scott David at lunch when I met him in Seattle recently. A mutual friend introduced us five months ago in e-mail. He is a lawyer based in Seattle and participating in the ID-Legal group . The book asks the question “What do we mean when we say “I”?

I got three books that I hope will be useful in gaining some more skills/tools for communicating about identity topics.

Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with PICTURES by Dan Roam

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds (I saw him present at SlideShare recently.

Indexed (the space betwen short, nerdy and oddly attractive) by Jessica Hagy (her blog) – think Hugh MacLeod but with diagrams on index cards rather then cartoons on the back of business cards.

Books I bought in Boston and shipped home arrived :)

Buckminster Fuller:Staring with the Universe is the catalogue from the Whitney Museum exhibit about him. This gets to our identity as beings on spaceship earth in the universe.

Uniforms: Why we are what we where by Paul Fussel

Ok these’s don’t exactly have to do with identity but they are fun – and besides “you are what you eat” right?
Slow Food: why our Food should be Good, Clean and Fair by Carlo Petrini – it is a translation of his manifesto originally in italian – this weekend happens to be Slow Food Nation

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries by Richard Reynolds.

Last week Cody’s Books was closing in Berkeley. The bank of the company that owned the store recalled the loans. The store closed about 6 weeks ago and sat there with all the books inside. Then 2 weeks ago they sold all those remaining books at 40% off.

I got four Identity related books

Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, Updated and Expanded Edition (2007) by Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau.
Less Safe, Less Free: Why Americans are Loosing the War on Terror by David Cole and Jules Lobel

Who’s Watching You? The Chilling Truth about the State Surveillance, and Personal Freedom by Mick Farren and John Gibb


cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity and Identity on the Internet by Lisa Nakamura. (cybertypes is her updated word for stereotypes that appear on in the context of cyberspace).

Is Zivity Porn or not?

So, This summer there was some what of an controversy about the sponsorship of Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner by Zivity (a porn + social networking site where the men pay and get points to divvy up to women who’s “pin-up” photos are posted – and they can also “friend them”). I noticed this sponsorship when the organizer tweeted about it. I went to the site only to find out that on top of sponsoring they would be sending Photographers to the event to “shoot” us. I saw Zivity taking photos at the Crunchie Awards – (you can see the photos posted on Flickr with the Zivity tag.) This type of party photography just seemed totally inappropriate for a professional networking event.

I tweeted back “I find it ODD that you have a porn site sponsoring your next event and ‘shooting’ the women at the event. why sexualize us?”

Let me state the issue arising about BAGGD and Zivity sponsoring it:

The issue is about a porn company sponsoring a women in technology professional networking event AND having the porn company sponsor the photographers – who would be at the event taking pictures.

Those of us who were upset by the sponsorship and photographing objected to actually having this happen to us – to have our images be taken and tagged by a porn company and therefore implicitly endorsing them.

I had a lot going on this summer and didn’t have the energy to dive into the conversation on the blogs at the time. I did try to reach out to Angie Chang the organizer to meet with her face to face and talk before the dinner. She was unable to meet. Mary Hodder did a great job summarizing our attempted engagement with the organizers about the issue.

Recently Susan Mernitt attempted to write about the difference between, different generations of women and how the uproar about this event was an sample of the divide and a need for a bridge. Both Mary Hodder (comment 1,9) and I (comment 5,10) responded with a long comments about the nature of the issues that the BAGGD, Zivity sponsorship and her article raised for women in technology.

This is not about is porn good or bad? The issue is about where is its presence appropriate and where is it completely not appropriate. We have generally accepted social norms and now have legal regulation that it is not ok to have pornographic pictures posted in the workplace. I just don’t get how the BAGGD organizers thought it was appropriate to have a porn company sponsor and take photos at an event for women who work in technology. (They get that the Spock snafoo at Web 2.0 expo 2 years ago was not ok.) I don’t care if one of the 5 people who founded the company is a woman. It is porn and I don’t want to have to deal with the company taking my photo in the context of my professional work life and making women feel that they have to “be ultra-beautiful” to attend a networking event for women related to their day jobs in tech.

Several women spoke with Mary Hodder (who blogged about the issue before the event) directly saying that they “didn’t feel/look good enough to go.”

So some argue that the Zivity site is not actually porn (including the company – the have a motto “It’s not Porn it’s Pinups”). So this question is it or is it not porn is another layer of the debate. So yesterday when Jonathan Eunice tweeted this –

So, Zivity? Attractive girls taking their clothes off? How’s that gonna wo… Oh… Wait… I see. Getting it now.
I just had to ask him what he “got” about it – because of this ongoing is or is it not porn question.

@jonathaneunice what are you getting about Zivity? that it is actually porn even thought it says that it isn’t?

The conversation continued with side comments from Kevin Marks and Sillicon Calley……

BTW for those of you wondering about “why twitter” this is one of the reasons I like it — interesting conversations happen. For those of you not familiar with norms of twitter conversation @person’sName is a way in the medium to indicate who you are talking to. This whole conversation is public on twitter – you could go search for it and stich it all together – I also asked Jonathan if I could blog it before posting this.

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman Zivity is clearly porn–tho’ of soft, “artfully photographed” variety. Of course, so are many photos in mainstream mags.

JonathanEunice: Porn = images intended to stimulate desire. So Zivity, yes, but also much of Travel & Leisure, Maxim, Vogue, Architectural Digest, etc.

IdentityWoman: @jonathaneunice – that frame “Porn = images intended to stimulate desire.” is a good one to consider. What about “beauty without context”

JonathanEunice: Food porn, furniture porn, travel porn, fashion porn–we are awash in it. It all screams: Buy this! Be that! Want that!

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman Is SuicideGirls or Zivity different from W, Vogue, or GQ? More nudity yes, but worse self-esteem? I’d wager better. YMMV.

SiliconCalley: @identitywoman i hate the word porn, its too subjective. some people think that paintings of nude women are porn, some think its art

SiliconCalley: @identitywoman i don’t think zivity is porn, if it was the business model wouldn’t work. who wants to pay to connect to a model in porn?

IdentityWoman: @siliconCalley – I would ask it the other way – who DOESN’T want to pay to connect to a model in porn? seems like an obvious evolution

kevinmarks: @IdentityWoman isn’t porn in the eye of the beholder, not the intent of publisher? Some people get excited by pictures of feet on Flickr

SiliconCalley: @kevinmarks re: zivity touché! you are so wise.

SiliconCalley: @identitywoman porn for most people is a very private thing, and i don’t think that people usually want to be “social” with porn.

SiliconCalley: speaking of zivity…would anyone like an invite?

JonathanEunice: @jonathaneunice so what is the issue? @siliconcalley thinks that Zivity isn’t porn cause it is “social” and porn is private.

JonathanEunice: Just with client in my “CTO on demand” capacity. So back to the porn discussion…

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman I don’t think beauty needs any further context. But beauty (or Beauty, if you’re a Platonist) isn’t the issue here.

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman The issue here: 1. images and 2. asymmetry.

IdentityWoman: @jonathaneunice issues being 1) the images are about sexual desire 2)the guys linking to women are not also posing with their cloths off?

JonathanEunice: Images add distance, objectify. Thus beauty without interaction. Leading to asymmetry.

JonathanEunice: She is publically naked, I am not. She is identifiable, I am anonymous. That imbalance, I think, gets to heart of porn-iness.

JonathanEunice: In the spirit of oversharing: I prefer au naturel beaches. But much more symmetric. I am equally naked, exposed. Also, present, not distant.

IdentityWoman: @jonathaneunice – thanks for that (over)sharing. It makes the point about presence and embodiment rather then distance and

JonathanEunice: There’s a vast difference between looking at pictures of selected, carefully made up, airbrushed women (= porn) and…

JonathanEunice: …being with genuine, come-as-you-are nude women when you’re also nude. Isn’t that the diff btwn ‘nude’ and ‘naked’ (or ‘nekkid’)?

JonathanEunice: Today’s irony: Despite the porn diacussion, yet again asked to have drinks “with the girls” after work.

JonathanEunice: A simple Zivity joke turned into serious discussion. Pity the poor jokster!

JonathanEunice: I did. Very classy high quality photography. But at root still pics of naked chicks. High end porn still porn IMO.

Wordle’s for Identity Papers

Since I saw wordle I have wanted to make one of these for the Augmented Social Network White paper. It is interesting to see the words that stand out Online Identity, Web communities, community, Information, social data.

I decided to run the OECD paper At a Crossroads: “personhood” and digital identity in the information society through it too.

OK and here is The Law’s of Identity in Wordle
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Having Fun in Vancouver

I just got back from 10+ days away on Cortes Island at Hollyhock. I am feeling refreshed and renewed.

I am spending about 4 days in Vancouver and then heading to Seattle. While here i am meeting people that I knew when I used to live here.

I had dinner with my sister my first day here. She is doing well and has a very interesting identity related job. She works for a branch of the government that deals with estate disbursement. So when people die and they don’t have a will or an executor or when they do have a will but no executor it is the office she works for job to find the people who get the assets. She does a lot of digging around in and accesses birth and death registries throughout north america putting together the needed identity paper trails. Next time I am up here I will interview her about her job so you can hear first hand about the challenges she encounters.

My friend Irene from highschool #3 invited me to an interesting conversation about wisdom. It turns out Ellen was there from highschool #1 and remembered me. She asked if I had done a science fair project on bleach and fabric – which I did do. She reflected that it seemed to her that I didn’t like highschool much – yep. The experience was more neutral for her.

Yesterday I had lunch with Aunt she told me all about my cousin and his current challenges in highschool – turns out some of them are similar to the ones I had but quite a few are not. We went for a walk on Granville St and then shoe shopping for me.

I then hung out with Newell Cotton who is sort of like a little brother to me. He was 1/2 in age between my sister and I (she is 3 years younger then me) and his mom baby sat the two of us quite a bit when we were little. It was really fun to just sit and talk about what we are both doing now but with a deep sense of familiarity and connection that only comes when you have known someone since they were like 2 years old.

I then got to spend time with my friend Braden who was from highschool #3 we met when I was a senior and he was a freshman – he is someone that I spoke with regularly when I was off at college and visited while home.

I have felt really good about spending time with people here and knowing that in the coming year spending more time in Vancouver will be a good thing.

Tomorrow I am meeting the other ‘odd kid’ from my elementary school and he also went to highschool #1. I will share an update about that tomorrow.

One Web Day – why it matters to me and how it relates to Identity

This post was invited by the folks at One Web Day to be the ambassador for the day and talk about why it matters to me. The post will also appear on their website so it has more details then if it were just for this blog.

Since I first heard about one web day I was struck that it followed Interneational Peace Day September 21. I am not sure if Susan Crawford realized th this when she founded one web day. I think it is happy coincidence.

At the first Planetwork Conference in 200 called Global Ecology and Information Technology I “got” the potential of the web to play a role in supporting people of the earth being able to share information to make their lives better and to address the critical environmental/climate challenges we face. Information sharing on one internet that is global in scope is critical for this.

My participation in the identity community has its origins in Planetwork community (other people in the identity community have different origin stories around their initial interest in the subject). Part of their thinking was about how to support environmental groups could work better together via the web. An open identity layer on one web could really help with that – by supporting people being able to interact with multiple groups with out multiple disconnected identities. (You can check out a slide show I did recently at the Net Squared Conference that covers this).

Over the past 4+ years that t I have been working in online digital identity I have learned more then I ever imagined about enterprise systems and the critical nature of identity for managing all the people that they interact with (employees, contractors, business partners, customers). I have developed a great appreciation for the critical role that business plays in making all the things we depend on. Business is evolving and beginning to take the internet for granted – e-commerce is no longer just that it IS commerce. One web is critical for our economy.

If the web degrades and becomes more then one web – if the nets that make up the internet decouple then our ability to support the emergence of an identity and relationship layer of “the (one) web” ends. That would be terribly sad.

So I invite those of you in the identity community to get behind one web day – check out organizers starter kit and 10 ways to help the web and the Project Proposal page.

I invite those of you in the wider web community reading this post to learn a bit more about our work to help the ‘one’ web evolve at:
* Identity Commons (links to a bunch of projects here),
* Liberty Alliance,
* Information Card Foundation and
* OpenID