Super Trip Review from NSTIC to RSA

I’ve been on two super trips recently.  One went from before American Thanksgiving to early December. This last one was much of February beginning with NSTIC and ending with RSA. I wrote this in pen and paper last week and typed it up today.

One way I manage to get around is to piece together what could only be considered “super trips” – 18 days.

I actually started off at home on Feb 2nd helping Van Riper run the Community Leadership Summit West. Its an unconfernece for mostly technical  community leaders but also managers but was inclusive of other community based community leaders. I will have a blog post about it up on my site.

February 4th I headed to NSTIC’s 3rd plenary in Phoenix. I presented the results of the Holistic Picture Visualization Sub-Committee printing out the images we found online.  Bob Blakley and Brett McDowell did a good job shaping the agenda and inviting plenary participants to connect with the big vision of NSTIC of 10 years out.

  • All implementation actions are complete, and all required policies, processes, tools, and technologies are in place and continuing to evolve to support the Identity Ecosystem.
  • A majority of relying parties are choosing to be part of the Identity Ecosystem.
  • A majority of U.S. Internet users regularly engage in transactions verified through the Identity Ecosystem.
  • A majority of online transactions are happening within the Identity Ecosystem.
  • A sustainable market exists for Identity Ecosystem identity and attribute service providers.

While at the same time reminding on the way to getting a man on the Moon we got a Monkey into the Ionosphere – so what is our monkey in an Ionosphere – at the plenary groups were invited to articulate this:

  • Relying parties from multiple sectors are demonstrating identity and strong authentication credential interoperability
  • Is easier to use than the broken user account and password methods
  • Licensed professionals now have a common way to express credentials and ongoing certification.   No longer do licensed professionals need to scan, fax or otherwise send paper copies proving their qualifications every time another client seeks to retain their services.
  • allows citizens to securely establish a multi-purpose single identity that will significantly reduce, and eventually eliminate, the need to create and maintain multiple passwords and PINs.
  • Secure web accounts for use in circles of on line providers by 10 banks, 15 insurance companies and 25 hospitals.

[Read more…]

Recent Travels Pt1: IIW

IIW is always a whirlwind and this one was no exception. The good thing was that even with it being the biggest one yet it was the most organized with the most team members.  Phil and I were the executive producers. Doc played is leadership role.  Heidi did an amazing job with production coordinating the catering, working with the museum and Kas did a fabulous job leading the notes collection effort and Emma who works of site got things up on the wiki in good order.

We had a session that highlighted all the different standards bodies standards and we are now working on getting the list annotated and plan to maintain it on the Identity Commons wiki that Jamie Clark so aptly called “the switzerland” of identity.











We have a Satellite event for sure in DC January 17th – Registration is Live.

We are working on pulling one together in Toronto Canada in

early February, and Australia in Late March.

ID Collaboration Day is February 27th in SF (we are still Venue hunting).

I am learning that some wonder why I have such strong opinions about standards…the reason being they define the landscape of possibility for any given protocol. When we talk about standards for identity we end up defining how people can express themselves in digital networks and getting it right and making the range of possibility very broad is kinda important.  If you are interested in reading more about this I recommend Protocol:  and The Exploit. This quote from Bruce Sterling relative to emerging AR [Augmented Reality] Standards.

If Code is Law then Standards are like the Senate.













Alignment of Stakeholders around the many NSTIC Goals


The Many Goals for the Identity Ecosystem & NSTIC Governance

The NSTIC governance NOI articulates many key activities, qualities and goals for a governance system for NSTIC. NSTIC must:

  • convene a wide variety of stakeholders to facilitate consensus
  • administer the process for policy and standards
  • development for the Identity Ecosystem Framework in accordance with the Strategy’s Guiding Principles
  • maintain the rules of participating in the Identity Ecosystem
  • be private sector-led
  • be persistent and sustainable
  • foster the evolution of the Identity Ecosystem to match the evolution of cyberspace itself.

Achieving these goals will require high-performance collaboration amongst the steering group and all self-identified stakeholder groups. It will also require earning the legitimacy from the public at large and using methods that surface their experience of the Identity Ecosystem Framework as it evolves.

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Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

This is the “punchline section” (in my response it is after what is below…the history of collaboration in the identity community):

Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

In 2004-5 the Identity Gang (user-centric identity community) was 1/10 the size of the current NSTIC stakeholder community.  It took us a year of active grassroots effort to develop enough common language and shared understanding to collaborate. NSTIC doesn’t have 5-10 years to coalesce a community that can collaborate to build the Identity Ecosystem Framework. To succeed, the National Program Office must use processes to bring value and insight while also developing  shared language and understanding amongst stakeholders participating.

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Ecosystems Collaborate using Shared Language – NSTIC

Collaboration is a huge theme in NSTIC. Below is the initial approach to collaboration in the  document:

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace charts a course for the public and private sectors to collaborate to raise the level of trust associated with the identities of individuals, organizations, networks, services, and devices involved in online transactions.

Collaboration, as defined by Eugene Kim, a collaboration expert and the first Chief Steward of Identity Commons, occurs when groups of two or more people interact and exchange knowledge in pursuit of a shared, collective, bounded goal

To achieve the challenging goals set out in NSTIC, such as raising trust levels around identities, high performance collaboration is required. Both shared language and shared understanding are prerequisites for high-performance collaboration.

This is a powerful excerpt from Eugene Kim’s blog about two experiences from technical community participants (including Drummond Reed from the user-centric identity community) that paints a clear picture of the importance of time for, and the proactive cultivation of, shared language:

[Read more…]

The Emerging Personal Data Ecosystem

This week I am heading to Telco 2.0 because the conversations with telco’s about how they participate in the Personal Data Ecosystem are moving forward in interesting ways.   IIW #10 had several long sessions about the topic. IIW-East was full with each of the 8  time slots having a session about different aspects and IIW-Europe October 11th coincided with the announcement of the first community prototype personal data stores by MyDex.

Learning from one of the mistakes of the past – market confusion inhibiting understanding and adoption of user centric identity technologies. The Personal Data Ecosystem is going to be a “front door” for those seeking to understand the ecosystem overall with a simple message and clear picture of what is happening. It will also connect people to the community working on the aspect of the ecosystem relevant to them. Our focus is on developing the  core communities needed for success and fostring communication amongst them.  These communities include  end users, large personal data service providers, companies providing data to personal data services, developers and startups leveraging this new ecosystem, regulators and advocacy groups along with the legal community and their efforts to create the legal frameworks needed to really protect people.

We arleady have a number of projects working on key aspects around the ecosystem and we will support their success linking them together – Project VRM, ID-Legal, Project Nori, Higgins-Project, Project Danube, and IIW (they are linked at the bottom of the Personal Data Ecosystem site),   This is a big tent ANY OTHER projects that are related are welcome.  We don’t need another dot org to link efforts togethers so PDE is going to be chartered as part of IC3 (Identity Commons).

Right now the Personal Data Ecosystem site is aggregating content from blogs of those covering and building in the space.   This week we will be doing our first Podcast covering this emerging industry – Aldo Casteneda who you may remember from The Story of Digital Identity will be hosting it with me.

Next week we will be able to collect links submitted via delicious for the blog. I am working with the fabulous Sarah Dopp on website strategy and online community development and Van Riper is working with me on community management.

IIW coming up in a week is going to be a core community gathering for emerging developments.

IIW & Identity Community Bumps in the Road

This is cross posted on the IIW blog .

When we first started meeting (the early “seedling” meetings of community) at other people’s conferences, there were Microsoft people, Liberty Alliance/SAML people, Shibboleth implementers, user-centric folks (OpenID, LID, sxip, i-names/xri), big idea folks (Doc Searls), etc. We met for a couple of hours at a time and knew there was common ground, but knew we needed more time to really understand each other: to have more of a shared language and develop enough strength in the relationships in the community to work together. We figured we needed to have more time to meet together, so we convened the Internet Identity Workshop. That first event was amazing and quite formative – kicking off the conversation that would lead to OpenIDv2 via Yadis. Kim Cameron presented his 7 laws of identity that have become foundational to community thinking and introduced the idea of information cards and selectors; much work is now happening around this.

Soon afterward Brett McDowell the ED at Liberty Alliance approached me and Phil about having an Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) next to (the days following and in the same location) an upcoming Liberty Alliance meeting. We thought this was a great idea to create more space for people to meet about user-centric identity technologies and issues. When Microsoft got wind of this, boy did I get an earful – they felt that the neutrality of IIW would be totally compromised if it came to be that closely associated with Liberty Alliance (remember Liberty Alliance was originally formed by Sun and others in response to Microsoft Passport).

IIW had provided a forum for anyone working on user-centric identity technologies to come together without anyone making an “agenda” for the meeting or creating a “technology road map.” Literally anyone who came could put a subject on the agenda on the day of the event. All parties did want to increase dialogue and cross-pollination among the groups, and we found a way through by jointly (IIW and Liberty Alliance) producing what we named the Identity Open Space (we also said we would be open to co-producing with others who asked – we did two with Digital Identity World). It was in Vancouver Canada and Kim Cameron along with several Microsoft folks along with many in the user-centric community attended and because it was the two days after a Liberty Alliance meeting many Liberty people were also there, and it was a good event that moved the industry forward.

Right in the middle of getting this worked out – I on a personal level had a very intense experience being caught in the middle – a giant trade association on one side and Microsoft on the other. We (me, Phil, Doc, Kim, Brett) managed to navigate this as a community and do the right thing and we became stronger as a community for having done so.

We continued to have IIW’s every 6 months and in 2006 it was clear we were going beyond just IIW and needed a community home/container to connect community efforts and provide common services (blogs, wikis, bank account for doing common work like holding events). We held a series of conversations and decided to create a community organization, drawing on an existing one, Identity Commons – the community liked the purpose and principles approach for bringing people together. As a codition of brand transfer to a our nonprofit organization we worked on our version of purpose and principles. There were some delays in actually getting the organization legally formed and the brand transfered, but in 2007 we were an official organization: a network of organizations, initiatives, and projects all working on different aspects of a people-centric identity layer of the web. There are several places you can read about community history and background around Identity Commons. I wrote “What the heck is Identity Commons?”.

Next fall we are hosting our 9th event. Many things have move forward significantly in the community – OpenIDv2, OAuth, Venn of Identity paper, OSIS Interop, Concordia use-cases, Information Card evolution including Augmented Browsing with Action Cards, Portable Contacts, Open Social, OpenID/OAuth hybrid, Activity Streams, Distributed Social Networking, Discovery particularly XRD. So what has made IIW work so well in fostering the kind of collaboration and innovation that has emerged from it?

  • We have kept the space free: no one has the ability to buy time at the conference.
  • All ideas are welcome: there is no committee controlling the agenda, so politics about what is “on the agenda” or “not” just doesn’t happen.
  • It is a working workshop to solve real problems, move technical projects forward and discuss interoperability among them.
  • We put attention towards creating the space for relationships between people to form naturally over time and thus enabled trust to grow.

Cultivating Community

Communities don’t usually “just happen” there is idea, or vision that attracts people, and there are community organizer(s) or catalysts that proactively seek out others who share a vision and help bring a community together.

Growing community, cultivating community, nurturing community, weaving community, building community, creating community – all slightly different metaphors describing this process that happens when people make the effort to create space (an environment) for people to meet, inviting people into the space and encouraging conversations that help connections and foster relatedness.

Community is what unfolds when people come together voluntarily, learn about one another, begin to care about one another, and start to do things together. In doing things together that are successful, trust develops and people begin to work and act together IN community, doing progressively more difficult things, becoming strong and more resilient.

Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point we know about Connectors, Mavens, and Salespeople, social archetypes that play different roles, each with their own value in helping information flow, networks form and communities emerge.

It was great to have him articulate this i finally had a label for my own activity/passion – I have become a maven of a few things throughout the years. user-centric digital identity was a subject I really got into in 2003-4. I read everything I could about the subject as I began to meet some of the people thinking about it. I became passionate about the topic and applied my connector skills and started meeting finding people who were interested in the subject. Those who didn’t know about the subject I sold them on the idea :). I am not by nature a sales person about “anything” but only those things I believe in.

One can also see a community as the evolution and maturing of a network, that is the relationships between people. When beginning the links might be very weak, but in time as the potential community members get to know each other and take action together and the ties strengthen; they become a stronger and more resilient “real” community. A paper that was very influential in my understanding was Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs and June Holley that I read in 2003 (along with every popular science book on network science out then: Linked, Sync, Six Degrees, Emergence, Nexus)

This paper investigates building sustainable communities through improving their connectivity – internally and externally – using network ties to create economic opportunities. Improved connectivity is created through an iterative process of knowing the network and knitting the network.

Knowing the network and knitting the network have been foundational in my practice of community weaving. I regularly meet with people in the community and help them get connected to others who’s work is related to their goals. Two examples first RSA as often happens those new to the community “knock on my door” and ask to meet for lunch or coffee to share what they are doing and learn more about who they should connect to in the community. Mike wanted to meet with me he to share about his new company Gluu that does inter-domain identity. It was great to learn what he was up to and also share papers/doc’s/projects relevant to his work and people he should meet. Yesterday I followed up with someone I invited to/and attended IIW. I spent 2.5 hours talking with Joe Johnston who attended about his efforts to bring interoperable identity (OpenID and other things) to Pachamama Alliance and other organizations with similar missions.

In terms of knowing and knitting networks between different communities/standards bodies/consortia/projects I wrote a post about Community Diplomats and Community Diplomacy last year thinking about different community-connecting roles and how if they are named they can be seen better and foster inter-group collaboration and communication.

Another essential but often un-named aspect/milestone of community development is communities development is shared language and then shared understanding. Shared Language is a prerequisite to collaboration enabling what were different perspectives and world views to sync, and then out of that it is much easier to work together. Eugene articulates three elements needed to create shared language:

  • Share individual contexts
  • Encourage namespace clash
  • Leave enough time and space to work things out

An example of shared language that was developed in the community was the identity gang lexicon that Paul and others worked on in 2004-2005 so that when discussing different identity technologies there was at least a common language to talk about them.

Another example of the evolution of the communities shared understanding grew out of Johannes original presentation at IIW2006 with the identity triangle with three pillars – user-controlled, company controlled and then microsoft controled. He did an updated it almost a year later explaining of the community language and understanding had evolved. This starting point was moved forward by Eve Maler creating the Venn of Identity and became an IEEE paper written by her and Drummond Reed. Johannes has continued to be a wholistic thinker about the landscape and in 2008 he articulated an onion to think about which identity technologies are applicable where.

Space and Spaciousness for community to form is a key part of what the Internet Identity Workshops have been about about. We have never “set the agenda” there but instead allow anyone attending to post a session idea. We encouraged dialogue with space rather then having an agenda.   

We have an amazingly rich community fabric of working relationships that is both resilient and delicate.

Identity Panel & Lunch at SXSW

I am really excited to be heading to Austin tomorrow for SXSW Interactive. After attending for 2 years in a row I didn’t attend last year and watched as all the tweets went by – wishing I was there.

I am facilitating a panel on Sunday morning 11:30 – it should be a lively one. OpenID, Oauth, Data Portability and the Enterprise.

It will be moderated by me, Identity Woman and include these find panelists, Bob Blakely The Burton Group, Danny Kolke Etelos, Inc., Joseph Smarr Chief Platform Architect, Plaxo Inc

The debate over identity, data and authentication is gaining ground in the social networking world. The more difficult discussion regarding enterprises and Web 2.0 has yet to start. Businesses realize that they must protect the data of their company, employees and customers. Join brave leaders from several Web Application companies that are beginning the discussion, “Are OpenID and OAuth good for the enterprise?”

Following there will be a Lunch for all those who want to continue the conversation – you can RSVP here.

There is a Project VRM Breakfast on Saturday morning (we figured that at least that morning people would be able/willing to get up early).

Monday for lunch I am inviting women interested in learning more about She’s Geeky to get together.

I will be tweeting away – and this is a good way to find me while I am there just DM me.

I will do some schedule browsing and post sessions related to identity tomorrow.

Long Trip & Three Identity Dinners

On Wednesday I got home from a 20 day road trip that included hosting three identity dinners along the way.

In Boston, Doc Searls, Mary Ruddy, Paul Trevithick and I called a dinner on February 8th and about 12 folks came out. It was great to connect and some new people joined us. We didn’t take any pictures at that event though :( Attendees includedTrent Adams, Charles Andres, Gerald Beuchelt, Laura (Pistachio) Fitton, Jon Garfunkel, Chris Reynolds, Halley Suitt, Martin Sandren.

Identity Dinner

In New York City dinner was at Katz’s Deli (this was Dean’s Recommendation) on February 12th and it was a great group – including one infant. Isabell was there – who I met at OSCON in 2004 when she was working for SXIP. Other attendees included Sean Bohan, Eric Draghi, Adam Fields, Cem P, and Nicholas Givotovsky.

Identity Dinner

In Seattle a great cast of characters showed up from MSFT – Mark Wahl, Pete Rowley, Kim Cameron, Vittoria Bertocci, and Mike Jones. Andrew Nelson (a founder of IC(1)) came and shared a bit about the cool stuff he is implementing for LLLI,. Drummond Reed was there and invited Kevin Fink, Jason Jerome, Jeremy McKenzie also joined us. My friend Sarah Schacht arrived late and her presence meant that i was not the only woman there. She is working on a project Knowledge as Power that supports citizens being more effectively in their communication with legislators (this means they legislators need to know they live in their districts).

Other activities along the way included work on Identity Futures stuff with Nicholas Givotovsky and John Kelly in the Boston area.

Identity DinnerThe Online Community UConference in New York City produced by Forum One – this was a lot of fun and Mary Ruddy joined me there we got to talk about identity with a range of attendees. We speed geeked – I white boarded OpenID and Mary demo’ed information cards. I got to hang out with Pauline Ores at IBM and Susan Tenby – Gliteractica Cookie at Tech Soup. It was great to talk with both Denise Tayloe (in the picture) and Carol Altarescu from Privo were there as well.

In DC I met with the women who are connected and local about She’s Geeky coming to the city. I learned that if it isn’t on a METRO line it isn’t “in” DC. We have a donated venue space
but in Northern Virginia and not on a metro – we are going to go with it for a one day event. Working on finding an “in” DC venue for later in the year. The goal is to get all the women who “never go into the city” to come to the Northern Virginia they will have such a good time they won’t mind coming into DC when it happens there.

Identity Dinner

Last weekend in Portland I enjoyed myself at Recent Changes Camp. It was the 4th one I attended. During it I lead a session about identity – technologies and issues. The people attending had lots of good questions. Most knew about OpenID they were unfamiliar with information cards. It was interesting to hear people’s deep concern about corporate involvement in the development of these standards – the three corporate names I mentioned in relationship to information cards seemed to raise particular ire – Microsfot, Novell and IBM. I invited all those concerned to join the community and meet the people working on this stuff themselves. I mentioned Higgins (the open source project) and talked about the standardization effort at OASIS. This didn’t sway them much they “just distrusted” the corporate involvement.

I personally am very clear that corporate involvement is essential to getting an identity layer to happen. I was re-affirmed in this exchange in knowing that the corporate perspective is not enough and having a trusted space for critical conversations around issues that arise with identity need a commons for them to occur (that is a space where corporations do note have the ultimate veto about what groups are or are not allowed in the conversation). If a space like this does not exist to create a dialogue amongst diverse interests and perspectives then the risk of it not happening or not getting adoption by people.

I invited everyone throughout my travels to the Internet Identity Workshop May 18-20. Registration will be opening this week with a special recession early bird rate.

My next trip is to SXSW Interactive where I am moderating a panel on OpenID, Oauth and other identity technologies in the enterprise with Bob Blakely, Joseph Smarr and Danny Kolke – it is at 11:30 AM on Sunday.

Dinners Next week in Boston and NYC

I am heading out to the east coast tomorrow. I thought while I was there it would be fun to have dinner with the Boston and NYC identity community folks.

We have set up an free EventBrite to just RSVP for the dinners.

Boston, Monday Feb 9th at Mifune in Arlington, drinks at 6:30 dinner at 7:00.

NYC, Thursday Feb 12th at Katz’s Deli – drinks at 6:30 dinner at 7:00

We will likely do a round of introductions – just so people know who each other and basically talk, network and have a good time. Lots is going on in the community so it will be good to share information amongst different efforts. I think that as travel budget’s shink taking advantage of when people are in different people are in town to connect.

I will also be in DC on Feb 17-18 and maybe could do a lunch or a breakfast on the 18th. Let me know.

Web Mobs and Proposition 8

I am Canadian so you can probably guess how I would have voted if I could have on Proposition 8 (the California constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman).
My views are not the point of this post. I am very concerned about what is playing out – online and in real life between the two sides of this issues following the passage of the amendment.

First of all we live in a democracy – the people of California voted for it – albeit by a small percentage but that was the will of the people.

When I look at this I think well the way the NO side wins is by doing all the work the YES side did last time – only better. They go and put an amendment to the constitution on the ballot and then build support for it.

The NO campaign assumed it couldn’t loose, was badly organized, didn’t have a comprehensive strategy for building support for its side across diverse communities throughout California. (The YES campaign was on the ground engaging with the black church community for example – they never saw anyone from the NO side come to their communities to engage them on the issue).

As the vote approach the NO side in a final very flawed move started attacking in television adds those who funded the YES side of the proposition and in particular the Mormon Church.

It was this turn of events that has lead into quite disturbing actions and behaviors by the NO campaign post election.

The blacklisting and subsequent public harassment and targeting of specific people and specific religious groups for their beliefs and support of YES on prop 8 is wrong.

I take this personally, I have and do work with people who are Mormon – (When I played water polo in university and in the Identity field). I respect the LDS church and the people in it – they have good values. Their religion is a very American one too (like Christian Science its origins are on this continent). Watch the Frontline/American Experience 4 hour documentary on the history of the church and their experience as a people/religious group.

A close personal family member I know also voted YES and for all I know could have donated.

When mobs start appearing at places of residence of YES contributors and their businesses. It makes me worried.

I thought about this issue earlier in the campaign when I wrote this post There are a lot of donkey’s in my neighborhood (and I know who they are)

From The Hive:

because she did about 60 gay ‘activists’ went to her restaurant and strong armed her in a scene reminiscent to Nazi Germany. They went down a list of people who gave as little as 100 dollars to boycott, harrass and attack them. They went there to ‘confront’ her for giving a measley hundred bucks based on her personal faith that she has had since childhood. They argued with her and it was reported by local news reporters was a “heated” confrontation.

So is this the America we want? Where if a private citizen wants to participate in the governmental process that they be harrassed and acosted. Their freedom of speech chilled by thugs.

From the NY Times:

The artistic director, Scott Eckern, came under fire recently after it became known that he contributed $1,000 to support Proposition 8…
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Mr. Eckern said that his donation stemmed from his religious beliefs — he is a Mormon — and that he was “deeply saddened that my personal beliefs and convictions have offended others.”

From the SF Chronicle:

Phillip Fletcher, a Palo Alto dentist who donated $1,000 to the campaign, is featured prominently on a Web site listing donors targeted for boycott. He said two of his patients already have left over the donation.

This is the site of the Anti Gay Blacklist Then there is a blog called Stop the Mormons.

The night Obama won and there was a party in the main street 6 blocks from my house – I had a moment of insight into the future. This was a happy celebratory Mob – it was basically safe. People were texting their friends and telling them where it was inviting them to join. I Tweeted about it so 900 people knew about it and where it was. I also knew that this new technology of texting and presence based real time information creates an increased capacity for mob formation. It made me wonder about the cultural skills and capacities we need to develop to interrupt mob behavior turning bad.

I think what is going on with the blacklists – that are directly targeting people in their private life is wrong. I think targeting specific religious institutions for protest is wrong.

These people and these religious institutions are not propagating HATE they are just not agreeing that marriage can be between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. This is a cultural difference of opinion.

I “get” where many of the gay activists are coming from – but it is not a place that will get them what they want. Many “fled” to the Bay Area to find a community and place where they could be who they were (gay, lesbian, queer, transgender etc). They were raised in conservative churches in other parts of the country that may have been explicitly anti-gay. They likely have strong feelings against these institutions and similar ones. It does not make it OK to the hate these people and act out against them. (If they want to proactively work on cultural change within these communities – Soul Force is doing a good job using nonviolence to work on change.)

We in the identity community need to understand what has unfolded here. The No on Prop 8 groups are using publicly available information. However this used to be information you could get if you went and asked for the paper versions from the court house. So it was public but with high friction to get the information. The web lowers the cost of getting this information (close) to zero – Daniel Solove writes about the change in publicly available information in the Digital Person.

I wonder about how we can balance the need to know who has contributed to political campaigns and propositions while at the same time prevent harassment and the emergence of negative physical and cyber mobs.

Community to Community Diplomats and Diplomacy

I have been thinking a lot about how the different communities working on different aspects of open standards innovation for the web can understand how they are working together with each other – in relationship.

Community Diplomacy is the name I propose for a set of patterns and practices that already happens. By naming it and recognizing the people who do it – clarity could emerge.

Community Diplomat This is perhaps a new ‘role’ that if named in community can help bring clarity. These people can some times be called ‘evangelist’ but not necessarily. They are ‘sent out’ by one community on a mission to connect with and build relationship with another.

An example of this would be how Thomas Roessler Security Activity Lead at W3C have both done this for our respective communities. I first met Thomas at the W3C workshop Toward a More Secure Web – W3C Workshop on Transparency and Usability of Web Authentication. I instigated the writing of two papers that articulated activity going on in our ‘user-centric’ community one about Yadis and one about Identity Rights Agreements. I was bringing news from my community and taking back information from the gathering.

A few months later Thomas came to the Identity Open Space (Like Internet Identity Workshops but produced in partnership with other groups lie Liberty Alliance and DIDW) in Vancouver following a Liberty Alliance Meeting. He contributed to our meeting and took information from there back to his community (W3C).

Neither of us was going to become ‘full members’ the other community but we quite explicitly were there to grow mutual understanding and increase information exchange between our two communities.

I think there are a few more terms to help us be clear about terms and intentions. To talk about how we and the communities we are connected to can inter-relate.

Community Bridges These are people who are explicitly working to link different communities together – using social network analysis we see that communities have a core and a periphery. I know people are a part of many many communities – for the sake of this post I will just talk about the links between two communities. network image

So there are several forms of being a bridge you can be:
At the core of both
At the core of one and periphery of another
At the periphery of both

It is important to remember the language of social network analysis is descriptive – cores are not better than periphery. The core of a network is the engine that ‘gets stuff done’ together they have strong ties – meaning the communication on those pathways is frequent AND they are all interlinked to each other. The periphery of a network has links to people in the ‘core’ but not to as intensely these are also called weak ties because communication happens less frequently. The periphery of a community is where new ideas come in through it is as important to healthy functioning as a connected core.

Drummond Reed is a great example of someone who is rooted in several communities and fully participates in them. He is at the core of the XRI/XDI community and is a very active participant in OpenID (he is on the board). He is at the core of both.

Adriana Lukas who is in the VRM community leadership is a great example of someone who is very active in the core of one community – AND participating at the margins of several others related to aspects of the identity and technology that are needed for VRM.

I would describe myself as being in the periphery of two communities the Nonprofit Tech Community and the Open Source Community. I relationships with people who’s day to day work is deeply focused in these areas. I have attended both their major conferences for the past several years and my work relates to both but I am not at the Core of either community.

Community Cultivators – these people sit at the core of a community and work to grow and take care of it. They are looking out for new people who might contribute and helping them find a niche in the system. While researching this article I found my friend Jean’s article about Field Building that describes this process too.

Examples from the past week of work:
I inviting the two guys I met at the identity meetup Ryan and Tony we had in NYC to join Newbies 4 Newbies cause they are both new to the community & interested in learning more. I also connected with Mike Ozburn a long time community member via phone and in talking with him thought he would be a great fit for the Enterprise Positioning Group as he is currently working with Sprint.

Community to Community Diplomats and Diplomacy in Action

I think that if we name these practices it will be easier to trust/know that we have informational and relational links between communities via articulating these articulated – not formal but at least named connections.

I am watching the group begin a research initiative to understand what communities efforts relate to their goals. I know that I did and still do a lot of research and outreach for the Identity Commons community dating back to 2004 – out reaching to the SocialPhysics project at Berkman, to Doc Searls etc….

I hope the language put forward here can help us all be able to understand how we are linked and seek to build bridges between our efforts. There will never be ‘one’ organization or effort that links everything – there will always be many different ‘attractors’ that have different missions, strengths and purposes. I would like to see some further articulation of the practices and patterns that people who play these rolls do.

Identity Commons structure is designed to support the kinds of links – the people to people – community to community along with explicit information flow between groups to foster loose connection and space for collaboration between groups. Heallth of the overall identity commons community can be measured by the number and nature of cross community linkages (people). I have a post coming out shortly about the balance between parts (working groups) and the whole and how the balance we have is working and how it can be maintained.

Newbies 4 Newbies First CALL

This past Internet Identity Workshop was great for a bunch of reasons – one was that we had this fabulous group of new people show up – who wanted to learn more and share how their experience could be better.

Currently, it takes initiative on the part of a new person to get up to speed. How do we provide resources to accelerate their efforts?
They formed a group called Newbies 4 Newbies that is sort of a club for new folks to help – new folks get oriented. They are going to develop and manage the Starting Points page – and ensure that it meets the needs of new folks. Within in a year folks will move on from being Newbies and others joining the community can take their place.

If you are a newbie to Identity (or some aspects of what we are doing this group is for you). Please feel free to join the call tomorrow at 1pm PST / 4 Eastern – here is the call in information and the agenda.

For those of you who would like to help newbies – They have come up with the concept of “Friendlies” those who have been in the community a while who wouldn’t mind helping the new folks get oriented to their particular area of expertise. If you would like to help out with this feel free to contact Cindy Spannhake or Dan Nelson and let them know the area you wouldn’t mind helping out with.

They are also very conscious that people are quite busy getting stuff done – the goal is help you contribute some of the key knowledge/resouces and then provide it for new people – so it isn’t just stuck in all the brains/blogs of all the people who have been doing this a while.

Giddy about IIW & Monday is Free

I am Giddy with excitement about IIW. Really – I have been bouncing off the walls all day. Almost* all my ‘identity’ friends are coming together and some new friends are showing up to meet you all. New people I don’t know will be there and adding to the mix.

We are experimenting with a new way to do monday with our introductory track being lead and choreographed by Phil. Each of the working groups/ major projects will have one-pagers for everyone to get a clear picture of the different activities. (BTW you still have time to get your one pagers to me).

Monday’s Introductory Track is going to be Free for folks who want to ‘check it out’ to come by. If they want to stay for dinner they are welcome if they chip in. If they want to stay for the conference they can register for it.

Joseph has written a great post about ‘why’ IIW has been really valuable to him and Plaxo.

Sean Ammirati has a great post just posted on Read/Write Web highlights why user-centric identity is important and how it fits into some of the themes discussed on RWW.

I hope we do get ‘slammed’ because it would be great to have more people who really want to engage. As a producer I get really worried about this because we ordered food for 150 people. So I will take a deep breath and hope it all works out.

So…The MC ‘position’ for the Untalent Show is open. If you would be interested in doing this let me know (Eve Maler who has been the MC before is not going to be at this IIW). Prepare your talents’ it could be anything – really. We are a friendly bunch….You can also do hybrid creations – we often have a few verses from a popular song – reauthored to reflect the community’s unique perspective on things.

IIW is a Community event and there is basically “no staff” (There are some students who are there to help ‘extra’ but that is not staff.)
This year my goal is to actually have enough ‘space’ to attend 50% of sessions (I only really attended one last time). So we are going to have a volunteer sign up opportunity so many people can do a few small things to make our event go well. So look for this if you would like to help. ALSO each person taking responsibility and doing the little things like putting your lunch plate in the trash helps make our space nice.

Oh and this IIW we are going to do compostables. So all of our plates, knives, forks, clear cups for juice will go to compost. (The coffee cups are brought by Rich and as far as I know are not compostable)

If you want to BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE MUG you could be trash free for IIW.

I can’t wait – it is going to be great!

* Bob Blakley is not going to be at IIW – some important other thing he has to do for us all.

Brussels (feedback way late)

Apparently some of you had a terrible dinner experience in Brussels in April at the Identity Open Space. Well so did I.

It was one of the low points of identity community organizing involving logistics in a foreign city. I had an offer from a local in the (identity) community to help out with anything that I needed help with for the Identity Open Space. I asked him to help find a venue for our dinner. I trusted him to do this and it was not really a good choice. It was far away (although walking distance), the room was crowded, it was hot, we had a set menu, the food was not good and it was expensive. So I am sorry to all of you who endured it.

Lessons learned:
1) Don’t fully trust the local (get secondary confirmation from an additional person)
2) Tap more knowledgeable local sources – like hotel concierge to find venues for dinner.
3) Ask the co-coordinating organization for help too (that would have been Liberty Alliance in this case).

Sorry again to all of you who had a bad dinner experience. It was not my intention. I really wanted to be able to eat and talk together and discuss identity as a community. I know that my table had a good conversation so I hope that others did too.

Thoughts on Community Engagement

A few days ago David sent me a link to his post responding to Stefan’s (very long) slam of OpenID. He did a great job articulating how many of those who have been critical of flaws in OpenID have been actively engaged with the community in finding solutions to the problems.

From Gnomedex one of the things I came away with was a deepened appreciation of the community that we have in technology generally and identity in particular. There are a lot of smart, good people working together despite our different personal world views, personal quirks technology backgrounds and visions for the future of the technology.

There are a lot of different perspectives in the social networking datasharing space. Marc Canter called the Data Sharing Summit to figure it out – face-to-face. (I raised my hand and said I would help facilitate). It is going to be Sept 7-8 in Richmond CA (Bay Area). Face-to-Face for a day can be like 6 months on a mailing list. It is invaluable and the text dialogue afterwards is improved in quality and effectiveness.

Ok back to Stefan:

Personally, I can’t be bothered much with a sign-on system for blog comments and social networks, but if it makes other people happy, great.

In fact social uses of persistent identity are actually interesting and just dismissing it as pithy isn’t really productive.

OpenID is a starter way to for websites to start using identity tools for people. Thousands of websites have adopted it – cause it is easy to do and it works. You could get up and praise OpenID for existing cause it is warming all those Relying Party sites to the idea there are identity tools and services they can offer to their user-bases. The challenge that Stefan and everyone else has with more complex visions of how things could/should work is how do you make it ‘easy’ – both for users and developers.

I think nuances that Stefan articulates are really important.

“selective disclosure, authenticated anonymity and pseudonymity (possibly with revocation capabilities), improve availability, enable privilege and entitlement management, and provide security against insider attacks originating from the Identity Provider,”

These need answers and they are not going to come from one company with one solution alone. Community engagement is needed – so I encourage all to put your solutions into the mix and lets see if we can figure this out.

It would be very worrisome to me, however, if a URL-based system (whether OpenID or a variant) would become the basis for “serious” identity and access management applications such as e-commerce, e-health, e-government, general credential systems, and so forth.

Your challenge is that people (consumers, business people, legislators) can readily comprehend identifier system that work like this. If you and others don’t want the world to work like this then it is up to you to figure out how you explain complex math in a way that doesn’t go into the detail but just explains it in a way that ‘makes sense.’ I have had the luxury of sitting down a few times and listening to you explain ‘how the math works’ and it still seems a bit ‘mind boggling’ but “I trust you” – basically it is where peoples trust lies…is it in ‘human’ trust (my openID provider isn’t going to take my password and log into places for me) or is it in ‘math trust’ (these really smart guys have these groovy algorithms that mean only “I” can access my stuff and I can share information with them without really telling them who I am). I hope the latter can work – that the systems can evolve and people will “get” them. However it is a communication challenge and an adoption challenge that is not easy.

I have encouraged Stefan to come to community events many times. . I do hope he takes up my invitation to come to the Internet Identity Workshop December 3-5. I hope you will all encourage him too.

The IIW2007a Spoken Word: CommunityIdentityAuthenticity


This community…has its challenges.

Harnessing its own enthusiasm and energy to affect real change

It’s a challenge…

Moving together

despite differences in the details

Getting the populace to understand

what we can barely understand and


between ourselves

It’s a challenge…

Communicating the understanding and importance of internet identity

to the average member

of society

It’s a challenge…


Divergence versus Convergence

Policy evaluation privacy evaluation

I just feel like shouting out …

My life
My terms:
Choice, Privacy and Control !

Like shouting…

One hundred and eighty passwords — and counting — is too many !!


Where’s the money?!

We need to get out of the technology ivory tower!


V R M!

I feel like shouting

We are all painting variations on the same picture!

— and it is hard

to see

what the image is.

And then I think, if I were the user, I would say

Don’t rock the boat!

I would say

Keep it simple and make it just…work.

Keep it simple !!!

Why can’t you make this easier for me?

I would say…

What is actually happening here?

Here is what I wish for the future:

I wish it would .. “just work” … for users.

Here’s what I hope for:

Something my dad can use and not get phished.

Here is my dream:

That we get how to engage in real-value, consensual transactions

Here is my dream:

Breaking down power structures

safe and powerful for everyone

in all contexts

Becoming invisible

and indispensable


— by Mark Aiken, Kevin Turner, Brad Fitzpatrick, Eddie Codel, Peter Davis, Ajay Madhok, Mike Jones, Johannes Ernst, Joe Andrieu, Mark Lentczner, David Recordon, Henrik Biering, Drummond, Reed, V. Gale, Gerald Beuchett, heathervescent, Weston Triemstra, Martin Atkins, Steve Williams, Paul Bryan and Lisa Heft

This spoken word piece was the closing for the
Internet Identity Workshop
May 15, 2007 — Mountain View, California, USA, Earth

Prepare your Un-tallent

David Kerns just posted some great parody lyrics to the “Rainbow Connection” here. Eve Maler is again going to be the MC of the un-talent show on Tuesday evening at the Monte Carlo (formerly La Rioja, formerly formerly the Monte Carlo). Both original songs, poems, talent along with parody Lyrics to accompany Karaoke are welcome (and you can enlist the identity choir to sing with you).

You can ping her via e-mail or just talk to her onsite on Monday and Tuesday at IIW if you want to get up on stage.

Map of Online Communities

I just found this on Boing Boing and thought it was very appropriate to re-broadcast. It is from xkcd: A webcomic of romance sarcasm, math, and language that is quite entertaining comic strip.

I think this map also reflects the nature of identity on the web…we show up in a lot of different places and need identities that work across them – with the freedom to link and de-link them. It also highlights how fundamentally identity is social and for engagement with people in community.

<img style=”border: 2px solid #000000″ src=””/>

My ETel Talk

Empowering People and the Coming Layer of Identity (Link to Slides)

win-win-win for Citizens – Applications & Communities & Operators

People are empowered with their identifiers get good service at reasonable rates along with the Freedom to Access the tools they want to on the network (free from operator interference and packet discrimination)
Application Builders and Service Providers can innovated new tools that work on the web and mobile devices.

Operators can have a business model that is more then just bit-haulers. They have a special relationship with the customer which means they can leverage:

  • Authenticated End-points to physical devices.
  • be OpenID / Identity Providers
  • the Billing Relationship with the customer and the asset of their billing system they can open up to others.

Here is a list of Further Resources in the talk.
Identity Commons



Card Space and Laws of Identity



Johannes Ernst who presented namespaces out of control.

Andre’s Diagram of Identity and Payment Networks converging.


Identity Commons Community

Internet Identity Workshop May 14-16, Mountainview

Identity Open Space April 26-27, Brussels

International Telecommunications Union Focus Group on Identity Management

Basically dealing with How do Network-centric, Application-Centric and User-Centric Identity Play well together?

Wiki on the last meeting Feb 13-16

April 23-25 Geneva

May 16-18 Mountainview

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Weddings this Weekend

Chris and Ponzi and Raines and Betsy both got married on Saturday. One couple in Seattle and the other in Berkeley.

I had the pleasure to be witness to Raines and Betsy’s quaker wedding. Their was no celebrant we all sat quietly and they came in and sat at the front under the chupah. Then one of the quakers opened the meeting and said we would all sit quietly and wait for Betsy and Raines to say their vows and then sign the certificate. Once they did this then people arose as moved by the spirit to share thoughts. Then once it was over we all got to sign the certificate.

When I thought about it more and this blog post I came to think of it as a peer-to-peer wedding. Their union is real because we were all there to watch it happen – not because someone in ‘authority’ said it was so. I think of the social web we are building a bit like this. It is also more like how informal economies work – people own things (houses, trees etc) because everyone knows they do not because they have a piece of paper that says they do from a government ‘authority’.

Congress Targets Social Network sites – to be blocked from Schools and Libraries

WOW this is really intense.
The freedom to meet and organize is FUNDAMENTAL to what it means to be a citizen in this country.

This was in slashdot headlines and is quite shocking.

MySpace and other social-networking sites like and Facebook are the potential targets for a proposed federal law that would effectively require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the category’s most ardent users.

High Impact
What’s new:

A proposed federal law would effectively require schools and libraries to render social networking sites inaccessible to minors.
Bottom line:

Law would likely affect more than just social networking sites., AOL and Yahoo’s instant messaging features might be included in proposal’s definition.
“When children leave the home and go to school or the public library and have access to social-networking sites, we have reason to be concerned,” Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican, told CNET in an interview.

Fitzpatrick and fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, on Wednesday endorsed new legislation that would cordon off access to commercial Web sites that let users create public “Web pages or profiles” and also offer a discussion board, chat room, or e-mail service.

That’s a broad category that covers far more than social-networking sites such as Friendster and Google’s It would also sweep in a wide range of interactive Web sites and services, including, AOL and Yahoo’s instant-messaging features, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which permits in-game chat.

Fitzpatrick’s bill, called the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA, is part of a new, poll-driven effort by Republicans to address topics that they view as important to suburban voters. Republican pollster John McLaughlin polled 22 suburban districts and presented his research at a retreat earlier this year. Rep. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, is co-sponsoring the measure.

The group, which is calling itself the “Suburban Caucus,” convened a press conference on Wednesday to announce new legislation it hopes will rally conservative supporters–and prevent the Democrats from retaking the House of Representatives during the November mid-term election.