Identity events of the year – Part 1

I am not going to do a “top ten list” – not really my style. I tend to take things as they are and appreciate the amazing, wonderful, mysterious, sensuous, intellectually stimulating but don’t “compare” in a sort of ordered list way. So just so there is clarity on the number of things I mention I will “number” them but this is NOT a top ten list – I wrote this post as a reflection without thought to order.

This morning while swimming I got to reflecting about the year in identity and it did seem appropriate to share some of them.

(un1) Bob’s Relationship paper (that I hope Burton Group will release into the world) was put forward in draft form at IIW#7 (2008a) and the Data Sharing Summit in May. It framed the problem of identity and articulated some missing pieces to the puzzle we are solving – supporting an identity layer emerge. He high lighted the fact that identity happens in the context of relationship and finding ways to document the terms and conditions in a relationship – making the relationship itself its own node and not just a line in a social graph. Since the paper is mostly been available to enterprise clients of the Burton Group and some folks in the identity community this missing piece – the node of relationship itself has not been taken up. I am hopeful it will emerge. I think some of what the Higgins project is proposing as an R-Card – a place to co-manage relationship data between two parties in a transaction could for fill this.

Update: I spoke with Bob since this post and Burton will be releasing this paper in Q1.

(un2) Facebook’s emergence as the dominant social networking service and this being the anti-pattern that the communities that I have been participating in for 6 years now had articulated was a danger that needed to be addressed preemptively with open standards that worked between silo’s.

(un3) Related to this – I am remember that summer at the invitational gathering at Hollyhock (a retreat center in Canada I love and I became the accidental poster child for) I got to meet with colleagues who lead workshops there some of whom I have known for years. They knew I was into the web and social things there – “digital identity” but this year they “got” more of what I was talking about. The reason was because of issues they themselves had – one had pictures and e-mails and other things the community had put forward around someone’s life threatening illness. They found they couldn’t get the data out. … it wasn’t there. People informally in conversations I overheard were kinda freeked out by the service (you need to remember that in Canada Facebook has incredibly high penetration into the lives of “normal” folks about 40% of all Canadians are on it – so more normal folks then in the US).

So back to the open standards working between sites – putting at least doors between walled gardens – it seems that finding the agreement and finding adoption of such open standards is difficult – or perhaps more to the point it is not a “high business priority” – it is easy to have a big network just grow and become the default. I think the efforts of the open stack community are noble and I hope they succeed. I also think they need to address some of the things that facebook messes up. These include mushing all my worlds together- (water polo from when I was in highschool, kindergarten class at school, water polo from college, water polo from the national team, highschool, elementary school 1, elementary school too, my process facilitator community, the identity community, the all the worlds I am in they are all FLAT – my social reality isn’t flat. People and the topics I am interested in at any one time come closer and go out father. I have divers interests and everyone I know is not interested in everything I do. I know this. I am not trying to “hide” anything or “be secret” I just want to respect the attention of my friends. I hope this nuanced social understanding can be grasped by someone building these tools. It is not that complex.

It may be that this kind of nuance will show up in smart clients. I am hopeful that this year there will be at least one for twitter. (I want to have two kinds of twitter friends – the ones that I read ALL their tweets (scrolling back to see what happened when I was not online) and those that i will watch passively when I happen to be online too.

(un4) TWITTER really broke on to the scene this year. I started tweeting because of Phil Windley’s comment about how it got him connected to his remote team – as a water cooler replacement – to know what they were up to in daily life (I had had an account for about a year before but hadn’t gotten into it). I was also at a talking heads forum on collaboration for a day in January and several friends were there who were tweeters so I did the laborious work of finding people to follow (back then there was no people search – you sort of found people by who you saw following people you knew).

I have several more thoughts about big things of the year. I will continue to write in the next few days. I am going to get back into blogging. These last 8 months since IIW#7 2008a I have had some rather significant personal life background noise. It is why I haven’t been writing or getting out much. So one of my resolutions for the year is to blog more.

It continues here with Part 2.

Obama – Geek or Nerd Adjunct?

This article is fun. I found it on the blog I regularly watch that has the best of the Colbert Report and the Daily Show (usually about 5 min a day for each- they are both currently off the air so there are no clips on the home page)

Obama: Full-on geek or just ‘nerd-adjacent?': Some experts contend President-elect too cool, too athletic, too normal

Obama is good at “repressing his inner geek, but you can tell it’s there,” especially when he goes into nuanced explanations of technical matters, said Benjamin Nugent, author of the book “American Nerd: The Story of My People.

[[I am reading this book right now - it is great]]

“One imagines a terrifying rally of ‘Star Trek’ people shouting, ‘One of us!'” Nugent said, in an interview conducted by e-mail, of course.

Others see only some geek qualities, qualifying the president-elect as merely “nerd-adjacent.” After all, he’s an athlete and kind of cool, some experts demur. Still, there’s enough there for geeks to celebrate.

Psychology professor Larry Welkowitz of Keene State College in New Hampshire hopefully speculated that there’s a shift in what’s cool and that “smart can be in. Maybe that started with the computer programmers of the ’90s. The Bill Gateses of the world are OK.”

Identity and personal control on horizon in web 2.0 2009 predictions

Mary Hodder is one of the 8 experts Fast Company tapped to predict evolutionary trends for web 2.o in 2009:

Mary Hodder, Founder of Dabble.com and VP of Product Development, Apisphere

“The future of social media is user’s owning their data, deciding who to send it to. Look for more companies that currently host the user’s identity to have less control over that, as things like Open ID take over and more companies try to compete by giving users more control over themselves. Look for ways users can own their own data, and companies that might offer that, sort of like a personal information bank. The changes may seem subtle but I think we’ll see companies now, like Facebook, who try to be everything to you: your bank account for info, your identity, your tools for publishing, and your bar/restaurant for socializing, having to give up some of those roles or hold them less powerfully. And I don’t think it’s natural for one company to hold all that power. It leaves you with very little control over your online self.

Of course, Facebook will fight this to the last, so they won’t be the first to give up some of this control. Others will and eventually to compete Facebook will follow. But they are the great example of the problem.

The other big change will be in companies finally building for revenue in the social and any other space online, as they build for growth in their free or social products.”

She is clearly pointing to emergence of Vendor Relationship Management tools and also the possibility of information card technologies that give users more control along with OpenID and OAuth that are linking web 2.0 services. She highlights the ‘business model’ issue that still has not been figured out for social networks or for identity technologies. We are hoping to address some of this at a special session of Internet Identity Workshop focused just on business models this winter.

It should be noted that 5/8 experts tapped were women the other 4 are Charlene Li, Rebecca Moore, Susan Mernit & Tara Hunt.

Cybersecurity report covers Identity

Lucy Lynch posted this “The CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency ” to the ID-Legal e-mail list.

We are actually going to discuss it on our upcoming call along with figuring out our steward to Identity Commons. Lucy and I will be spending 2 days at the end of December face to face in Eugene planning strategy/execution/deliverables around having at least event in DC this winter/spring before the next IIW.

The CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency has released its final report, “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency.” The Commissions three major findings are:

1. Cybersecurity is now one of the major national security problems facing the United States;

2. Decisions and actions must respect American values related to privacy and civil liberties; and

3. Only a comprehensive national security strategy that embraces both the domestic and international aspects of cybersecurity will improve the situation.”

There is a section on: Identity Management for CyberSecurity (page 67) that folks will want to read. CSIS is a Washington think tank, so this
is only advisory, but interesting to see some old models coming around again.

“CSIS was launched at the height of the Cold War, dedicated to the simple but urgent goal of finding ways for America to survive as a nation and prosper as a people. During the following four decades, CSIS has grown to become one of the nations and the worlds preeminent public policy institutions on U.S. and international security.”

Cybersecurity report covers Identity

Lucy Lynch posted this “The CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency ” to the ID-Legal e-mail list.

We are actually going to discuss it on our upcoming call along with figuring out our steward to Identity Commons. Lucy and I will be spending 2 days at the end of December face to face in Eugene planning strategy/execution/deliverables around having at least event in DC this winter/spring before the next IIW.

The CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency has released its final report, “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency.” The Commissions three major findings are:

1. Cybersecurity is now one of the major national security problems facing the United States;

2. Decisions and actions must respect American values related to privacy and civil liberties; and

3. Only a comprehensive national security strategy that embraces both the domestic and international aspects of cybersecurity will improve the situation.”

There is a section on: Identity Management for CyberSecurity (page 67) that folks will want to read. CSIS is a Washington think tank, so this
is only advisory, but interesting to see some old models coming around again.

“CSIS was launched at the height of the Cold War, dedicated to the simple but urgent goal of finding ways for America to survive as a nation and prosper as a people. During the following four decades, CSIS has grown to become one of the nations and the worlds preeminent public policy institutions on U.S. and international security.”

The Day of Connects – review of blog posts

So today Google Friend Connect and then Facebook Connect opened up their services today . Techcrunch is framing about dominance of internet identity.

The three horse race between Facebook, Google, and MySpace to achieve dominance in the internet identity space doesn’t appear to be letting up any.

What seems to be missing is the fact that Google and MySpace are implementing standards that are being developed in community and are open – meaning other players can play too.

Marc – long, long, long time advocate for open identity tools and systems on the web for people (he was talking about this at meetings I happen to run into him at in 2002-2003) does a good job of articulating the issues with facebook.

It’s all about about ‘Facebook across the Web’. Not about the Open Web.

ReadWriteWeb says this and

Open Source vs. Proprietary technology isn’t just about desktop software anymore – now it’s about our identities and social connections, all around the web.

has a nice little Mind Map comparing the two:

They invite people to edit it too.

This is interesting – Facbook is the “MAC” and Google is the “PC”
He likes Facebook because it has

* DEEP INTEGRATION
* REAL IDENTITY
* SOCIAL DISTRIBUTION

I find it strange the people like it cause it has “real identity” I don’t want to use it because FACEBOOK mushes me all together – I do have different communities of friends and interests. I don’t think they all care or want to know everything I do on the web.

This blog user found installing Google Friend connect a lot easier.

This is an interesting frame from MySpaceFaceTube

If there were an OpenID for Dummies book, its publisher would be Facebook Connect….
The remaining advantage for OpenID is that it doesn’t tether users to one service – since so many companies are now identity providers, just about everyone already has an account somewhere they can use on sites that accept OpenID logins….

And, according to Facebook, early testing of Connect shows a 50 percent increase in engagement on websites that have implemented it.

John McCrae had a good post about the announcements calling it the Birthday of the Social Web.

He links to this CNET post -

Sites will adopt Facebook Connect for two reasons. First, their users are already actively using it; millions of users have OpenID log-ins and don’t even know it. And second, because it’s not just a registration system, it’s that marketing channel.

I think this quote makes the point that it is TIME for all the major OpenID to educate the user-bases they have that have an OpenID and don’t know it that they have one and and how they can use it. Perhaps they can hire Common Craft to explain it In Plain English :)

One of the sessions at IIW that didn’t actually have notes submitted was about Activity feeds (in Session 8) – I think getting an open standard for these and enabling users with this functionality is part of what will make a viable open alternative to Facebook Connect.

XRD – which is a key component of the open stack made a lot of progress at IIW.

I am quite hopeful that openness will succeed and purpose of Identity Commons to support, facilitate, and promote the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet — one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities, will be fulfilled.

Open Stack & IIW Proceedings for the Holidays :)

I thought you would all like to know about this event coming up December 19th in San Francisco. Learning about the Open Stack for the Social Web. It will be a great overview of the components of the “open stack” (although some take issue with this name – I think it will do)

5:30 to 5:40 – John McCrea introducing the Open Stack
5:40 to 5:50 – Eran Hammer-Lahav on Discovery
5:50 to 6:00 – Allen Tom on OAuth
6:00 to 6:10 – David Recordon on OpenID (including OpenID + OAuth)
6:10 to 6:20 – Kevin Marks on OpenSocial
6:20 to 6:30 – Joseph Smarr on Portable Contacts
6:30 to 6:40 – Chris Messina on Activity Streams

These components are the alternative to Facebook Connect (or any other proprietary identity silo) LockIN. It is exciting to see all the progress that has been made and in particular the work coming out of this last IIW.

I am very proud of the fact we actually have collected basically all the notes from all the sessions at this IIW. They will be published in a PDF by the end of day today. Here is the link to the wiki with all the notes as well. The PDF will be be linked to off the top of the page.