I’ve co-founded a company! The Leola Group

Thursday evening following Internet Identity Workshop #18 in May I co-Founded and became Co-CEO of the Leola Group with my partner William Dyson.

So how did this all happen? Through a series of interesting coincidences in the 10 days (yes just 10 days) William got XDI to work for building working consumer facing applications. He showed the music meta-data application on Thursday evening and wowed many with the working name Nymble registry.  The XDI [eXtneible Resource Identifier Data Interchange] standard has been under development at OASIS for over 10 years. Getting it to actually work and having the opportunity to begin to build applications that really put people at the center of their own data lives is a big step forward both for the Leola Group and the  Personal Data community at large.

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Recent Activity Pt 2: Canada & Boston

Immediately following IIW (post here). I headed to Canada to speak at the International Women in Digital Media Summit.

The iWDMS brings together professionals from traditional and digital media communities, as well as educational/research institutions from around the world.  With high level keynotes, cross-sector dialogue, expert panelists, controversial debates and structured networking, the Summit will promote knowledge-sharing, and will explore innovation, skills gaps, policy and research in digital media–including gaming, mobile, and social media–and the impacts on and advancements by women globally. 

I gave an “Ideas and Inspiration”  talk for 20 min about the Personal Data Ecosystem called The Old Cookies are Crumbling: How Context & Persona aware personal data servcies change everything and will transform the world and was also on a panel about New Media Literacies.

There are a few things I took away from this event:

1) Countries like Canada are very small with just 30 million people and the center of commercial/intellectual life in Toronto an event like this really brings together a core group of high profile women in the media production business that represents much of the industry.

2) Both the government of Canada, provinces like Ontario and universities like Ryerson  are very serious about attracting and retaining top technology and media talent with a variety of tax and investment incentives.

3) See point (1) because of that …one must think internationally about appeal and distribution of any media across the whole world not just one market.

4) The way they talk about diversity used lang had language I never heard before the term “designated groups” included folks with disabilities, first nations people (in the US they would be “American Indians”), women, and ethnic minorities.

5) The idea that people shouldn’t be stalked around the web to “monetize” them was new and provoked some thinking amongst those who made their living developing metrics.

It was great to connect to Canada again and I hope that with the IIW coming up in Toronto in February some of the women who I met there can attend and consider how media can change with new tools for people to manage their identity and data.

I got to meet up with Aran Hamilton  (@Aranh) who coordinated efforts around the NSTIC of Canada in Toronto. We outlined the possibility of a Satellite IIW in Toronto and I learned more about what is going on there.  Basically up to point  (1) above…Canada is small.  95% of people have a bank account and of that something like 85% have accounts with one of 5 banks (Bank of Montreal, Toronto Dominion Bank/Canada Trust, CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotia Bank) and there are 3 telco’s. So it seems like getting an NSTIC like system in place in Canada could involves meetings with a few dozen people.  They have the added advantage that Canadians have a higher trust in their government and institutions like banks and telco’s and have fewer “privacy rights” organizations.  So our IIW should be interesting and I hope that we can get some good cross over between the January 17th event in DC and this one.

After Toronto headed to the 4th MassTLC Innovation Unconference.  It was great to be joined by Briana Cavanaugh who is working with me now at UnConference.net.  The community was thriving and it was the biggest ever unconference that I have run at 800 people and lots of sessions.  Jason Calacanis who apparently has relocated to Boston was there.  Jeff Taylor was there and had a rocking “un-official” after party that he DJ’ed.   The most notable costume was a guy in a suit with a 99% on his forehead. Yes Occupy Wall Street became a halloween costume.




The Nymwars and what they mean: summary of my posts to date.

Update: Google relented a bit, however I am still waiting to see if my name of choice was approved. You can read about the process I had to go through here. The New Google Names Process


For those of you coming from the Mercury News story on the NymWars exploding

I STILL have my Google+ profile suspended for using a  [  .  ] as my last name.  Prior to that I had “Identity Woman” as my last name and prior to that… before I ever got a G+ profile and since I started using Gmail and Google Profiles I had a   [  *   ]as my last name. [see the complete list of posts about this whole saga below]

It is my right to choose my own name online and how I express it.  Names and identities are socially constructed AND contextual… and without the freedom to choose our own names, and the freedom to have different names (and identifiers) across different contexts we will end up with a social reality that I don’t want to live in: Participatory Totalitarianism.

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Google+ says your name is “Toby” NOT “Kunta Kinte”

This post is about what is going on at a deeper level when Google+ says your name is “Toby” NOT “Kunta Kinte”. The punchline video is at the bottom feel free to scroll there and watch if you don’t want to read to much.

This whole line of thought to explain to those who don’t get what is going on with Google+ names policy arose yesterday after I watched the Bradley Horwitz – Tim O’Reilly interview (they start talking about the real names issue at about minute 24).

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Lets try going with the Mononym for Google+

Seeing that Google+ is approving mononyms for some (Original Sai, on the construction of names Additional Post) but not for others (Original Stilgherrian Post Update post ).

I decided to go in and change my profile basically back to what it was before all this started.  I put a  ( . ) dot in the last name field.  In my original version of my google proflile my last name was a * and when they said that was not acceptable I put my last name as my online handle “Identity Woman”.

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Google+ and my “real” name: Yes, I’m Identity Woman

When Google+ launched, I went with my handle as my last name.  This makes a ton of sense to me. If you asked most people what my last name is, they wouldn’t know. It isn’t “common” for me.  Many people don’t even seem to know my first name. I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself talking with folks at conferences this past year and seeing ZERO lighbulbs going off when I say my name “Kaliya”, but when I say I have the handle or blog “Identity Woman” they are like “Oh wow! You’re Identity Woman… cool!” with a tone of recognition – because they know my work by that name.

One theory I have about why this works is because it is not obvious how you pronounce my name when you read it.  And conversely, it isn’t obvious how you write my name when you hear it.  So the handle that is a bit longer but everyone can say spell “Identity Woman” really serves me well professionally.  It isn’t like some “easy to say and spell” google guy name like Chris Messina or Joseph Smarr or Eric Sachs or Andrew Nash. I don’t have the privilege of a name like that so I have this way around it.

So today…I get this

I have “violated” community standards when using a name I choose to express my identity – an identity that is known by almost all who meet me. I, until last October, had a business card for 5 years that just had Identity Woman across the top.

Display Name – To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of these would be acceptable. Learn more about your name and Google Profiles.

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IIW is NOT an advocacy group – sigh “the media”

Facebook’s Online Identity War quotes me and labels IIW an advocacy group. IT IS AN INDUSTRY FORUM. Douglas MacMillan.

Sorry but I am still learning “how” to talk to reporters. They don’t like to quote me as “the identity woman” and link to my blog.

I “do” run the Identity Workshop with Phil and Doc but that doesn’t make it an “advocacy group”

Identity Commons & IIW have a purpose and principles believing in user/centric identity. The power of individuals to manage and control their own identities online. We don’t “advocate” for them – we create a convening space for people who want to work on this ideal.

Facebook does on some level “agree” with the idea of user-centric identity – Luke Shepard has participated in the community for quite a while & they hired David Recordon. They sponsor IIW.

I am clear that the opening up of previously controlled information with no warning “jives” with my understanding of user-centric control. It was more from my own point of view I was commenting. That is with my “identity woman” hat on… and the values I carry from Planetwork and the ASN… but the press hates that. Uggg. Chris Messina gets to be an “open web advocate”… that is what I do to but just about identity “open Identity advocate” (mmm…) but then that sounds like “just” OpenID and it isn’t just about that one particular protocol. sigh.

I am still wondering – How does one “belong” and have “titles” in a way the media can GROK when one does not have a formal position in a formal organization.

sigh – identity issues.

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.

I AM Twittering!!!

So this weekend I just leapt in. I got Twitterific – going.

I am thinking we could almost have an aggregate identity twitter stream like we have for blogs with Planet Identity.

If you want to follow me I am “identitywoman”

If you are in the Identity community – but I don’t know who you are please let me know. I will say yes to you following me other wise I will just think you are one of the 40 other unknown guys who asked to follow me but I have not given permission to.

Up for Air – Finally

I have had very full days since the first of the month.

  • First I was preparing for IIW and then actually there producing and facilitating.
  • Then I headed north to Sacramento to participate in a training for two days (more about that later).
  • I headed to LA to watch the Canadian Water Polo Team play and visit with my best coach from when I was growing up.
  • I hung out with friends and did a site visit for the Cook-In that I helping to produce and facilitate in March.
  • Wednesday I was down at the Institute for the Future as an expert for a think tank thing for a specific client.
  • Yesturday was the BlogHer Holiday party that was more fun then I thought it would be.
  • Today I got my first Christmas Card in the mail – it was from the Burton Group.
  • I found this on Slashdot Lucas Film Christmas Cards – thought it would bring you all some cheer.

I am working on setting up a new home office and hope to settle down to write more here about IIW and Identity Commons in the coming weeks.

Why is her spelling so bad?

I have been told more then once that I could use some improvement in my grammer and spelling on this blog and in other contexts.

I know that those of you who are sensitive to these two things when you read – writing with errors in it is like reading text with giant red underlines. This a very annoying experience. I apologize. When I am tired and stressed my tendency to make mistakes gets worse.

I have had a few conversations with people about this problem and the only answer seems to be is to have enough money to pay an editor to go over everything I write. This is not really doable at the current point in time.

Personally I think it is a miracle that I engage with the community I work with in written form as much as I do. I thought I would share with you a bit more about my story of ‘why’ I feel this way.

The first sign things were “wrong” was that I mixed up b’s and p’s and b’s and d’s and p’s and q’s when I wrote in grade 1. I was also a very slow reader.

I had difficulty writing my ideas down. I was not able to compose a ‘good sentence’ when I was in grade 4. I was tested for learning disabilities in grade 8 I was not able to compose a proper paragraph. Needless to say this was not good if I was to go to university and do well. My mom was very proactive in working with the public school system (in Vancouver, Canada) to get me the help that I needed.

For two years in grade 9 and 10 I had tutoring initially three times a week in one period (we had 7 classes that rotated through 5 days). Then the second year only once a week. Then I was going to get cut off the following year (grade 11). I was just really starting to hit a wall in English class getting C’s and D’s. I was very unhappy and really wanted to be at a different school where I could both learn and get the help I needed to succeed.

My parents made sacrifices and found the money to send me to a private school specifically for dyslexic kids for grade 11. I had tutoring every day one-on-one and very small classes (there were 9 people in my grade). After one year there I went back to public school and repeated grade 11 in part because math and science were not good enough at the private school for me to do well in Grade 12 science and because my challenges were in english so the thinking was “why not get more practice and re-take some of those classes”.

When I got to Grade 12 I managed to complete it in 3/4 of a year. I was in a semester high school (meaning that you could do a whole class from September to Jan and then another one from Jan to June). I did a semester my high school and then completed my remaining 2.5 classes in adult education – which was basically correspondence classes but with a live teacher you interacted with at ‘school’ while you got them done. I took my final exams in April and I headed off to train with the Junior National Water Polo Team in May preparing for World Championships in July.

I was asked in May by the Water Polo Coach at UC Berkeley to apply and by August I was heading off to school California. I managed to do quite well at UC Berkeley pulling of A’s and B’s pretty much on my own with some tutoring help here and there.

I often wonder what my mom would think of my work today and how I am doing. When she died in December the year I was in grade 12. AT the time we didn’t know where I was going to college or university or for that matter if I would ever make it in higher education. She never got to know that
* I made the Canadian National Water Polo Team;
* I graduated with B+ average from the best public school in the United States;
* I write almost every day (on average) to a public audience;
* I help facilitate an amazing community.

I often wonder how things would be different if I could spell perfectly or just like everyone else and then I think you know… I see the world differently and do the interesting things because of my perspectives and I don’t want to give these gifts and insights up for “prefect spelling.”

I hope you can forgive me for my failings in the spelling and grammar department. I work hard to do the best I can and will when resources permit get an editor.

COMMENT from J Mankowski:

Yea…people and their splelling issues…….My parents came to the US from eastern Europe after the last “necessary” war. They sent me off to public school with hopes that i could achieve the Americana dream. Somewhere around the 1st grade, a school administrator showed up at the door and complained that my use of Po-lingesh was causing fights at school. The school threatened to set me back a year unless my parents stopped speaking Polish language around the house. They (the school) hoped that this action might solve their problem and mine. Nice idea and maybe it worked. The trouble here is and was that my parents did not speak a lick of English. Communication between myself and parents came nearly to a stand-still. This went on for several lonely years…..

p.s. Well, i finally grew up- i became successful of sorts having acheived a graduate degree from UC berkeley .

j mankowski
portland, Oregon

NYTimes covers my comments on CFP Panel

For those of you coming from the NYTimes wanting to explore this middle ground I invite you check out the Vendor Relationship Management project that Doc Searls is leading. We will be talking about it at the Internet Identity Workshop that I am facilitating next week.

“Her solution is essentially to give consumers ownership of their data and the power to decide whether or not to share it with marketers”

Lets just be clear this is not ‘my solution’ but a solution that must be found in a marketplace with a huge diversity of stake holders to help make it real and to balance things out. It is one advocated by Attention Trust and being worked on by the Vendor Relationships Management project.

To date there are very limited ways for me to express my preferences to the market place and get information regarding products and things I might like to buy (and only information about those things not just being ‘targeted’ by advertisers). There are also limited ways that people can work together – to aggregate their purchasing power to make new choices – to express demand before a product is even made and sold. These are the sorts of possibilities that I hope can become more real.

To me it is quite interesting that the New York Times is covering Online Ads vs. Privacy because this past week they made a commitment to do deeper data mining of the people who come to their website to ‘improve’ the advertising.

This reporter/social media thing seems to be working. I was quoted for my audience participation in a session at CFP in an article that appeared in Wired. I was linked to and subsequently wrote about my experience of the panel and the point I was trying to make that there was a middle ground. This reflection in my blog was then picked up in the NYTimes.

From the article:
FOR advertisers, and in many ways for consumers, online advertising is a blessing. Customized messages rescue advertisers from the broad reach of traditional media. And consumers can learn about products and services that appeal directly to them.

But there are huge costs, and many dangers, warns Jennifer Granick, the executive director for the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society (wired.com). To approach individuals with customized advertising, you have to know who they are. Or at least, you have to gather enough personal information about them that their identity could be easily figured out….

Even if that is true, people like Kaliya Hamlin still say that collecting data about the online activities of individuals can amount to an invasion of privacy. Ms. Hamlin, known as The Identity Woman, is a privacy advocate and consultant. “My clickstream data is sensitive information,” she told Mr. Zaneis, “and it belongs to me.”

On her blog, though, Ms. Hamlin wrote that she found the whole affair frustrating. It was, she wrote, the “angry, progressive anticonsumer guy vs. the super-corporate marketing guy.”

The answers, she wrote, lie somewhere between those positions. “The ‘activist types’ tend to deny that we are people who actually might want to buy things in a marketplace,” she wrote. “The ‘corporate types’ tend to think that we always want to have ‘advertising’ presented to us at all times of day or night because we ‘want it.’ Neither view is really right.”

Her solution is essentially to give consumers ownership of their data and the power to decide whether or not to share it with marketers (kaliyasblogs.net/Iwoman) [[ Note to the NYTimes reporters – if you quote a blogger from their blog posts you should link to the actual blog post you are quoting not just the blog itself]]

Again regarding my identity – I am not sure I would describe myself as a ‘privacy advocate’ but rather an end-user advocate, for transparancy, disclosure and passionate about open standards.

MyCyberTwin and Blog Creativity

I just found this really creative Blog entry that a woman put together to promote her book using her kitchen and whiteboard markers. It is quite entertaining.

So why do all this creativity when you can just create your online clone. This was the strange identity link for the day.

Sorry I have not been more talkative on my blog.

The Kathy Sierra thing sort of hit home hard. I have some thoughts about it that I will post some time.

I have been busy doing good talking about OpenID at NTEN’s NTC (The Nonprofit TEchnology Network – Nonprofit Technology Conference) I managed to talk to 50 of the 70 vendors on the floor 2 were doing OpenID already and enthusiastic (PicNet/Joomla and Golightly Online) about 4 were like yeah we have heard of it and plan to do it about 10 had heard of it but couldn’t tell me what it was and the rest … well we had not shown up on their radar yet.

I also learned some stuff from the folks at Free Range Graphics about story telling. I hope this can help us in some of the stories we hope to tell about identity and our community. I also learned more about Vlogging and feel more inspired to try again.

I am still in DC talking with Reuniting America folks and heading back to participate in Museums and the Web closing plenary on the 14th. Web 2.0 Expo starts on the 15th and I am talking bright and early on the 16th. I am still working on my talk (sorry Brady). I am feeling much better about it after talking about it with many people and getting clear on what I really want to say with my time. I get overwhelmed because I know so much…which part is really important for me to share in my 30 min and how do I make a good narrative out of it – that has been my challenge.

I head off to Geneva for the ITU-T Focus Group on Identity Management after that and then to Brussels for the Identity Open Space. Then it is off to Vegas for Mix07 where I was asked to speak on Identity with Kim Cameron, Marc Canter, and Scott Kveton. Then I am going to head to CFP – Computers Freedom and Privacy.

It is going to be a big month.

I hate hotels!!!!

I just got to South by Southwest in Austin and last night at the Hilton Garden Inn the Internet was free. By the time we checked out our bill was $200 for the night. TODAY a block away at the Hilton the conference hotel for an interactive event. The Internet is $10 A DAY ON TOP OF THE $250 a night we will end up paying. I HATE THIS. I HATE EXPENSIVE HOTELS THAT DON’T GIVE YOU THE INTERNET FOR FREE. IT IS ESSENTIAL NOT AN ADDITIONAL FEATURE LIKE A MINI BAR!!!!!!!!!

A Relationship with My School? Maybe if I make enough money.

For those of you who don’t know I went to UC Berkeley. I recently got an e-mail from Ms. Elisabeth Scarborough from Simpson Scarborough a marketing firm specializing in higher education. I was invited to participate in a focus group about ow they could connect with alumni. I was really excited….because I LOVE MY SCHOOL and I want to connect with them better – I wanted to share how they could connect to me better.

The only catch was they wanted to know how much I give to non-profits every year. To me this was them asking “How rich are you?” and saying “We are really just trying to figure out how we can have a relationship with you so you will give us more money.” It was quite upsetting.

I wrote them back and said I would participate but also shared that I give almost no $ to non-profits (at this time in my life). I also said that I was a bit offended by this line if questioning. Apparently this disqualified me from participating. If I had a real relationship with my school that was founded on mutual respect and the ability to give gifts back that were more then money I am sure that in the long run I would give lots of money.

I know I would like to contribute to the women’s water polo team and specifically towards a scholarship for an out of country student. I have already thought about that. But apparently not giving to charity now in my recently out of college trying to get out of debt mode disqualifies me from sharing how they might connect with me a future donor.

I hope they get with it and read the ClueTrain manifesto and Doc’s latest riff on relationships. Oh yeah – they even have a “blog” currently on the top of pile is a post about “Brand Fatigue.”

Dear Kaliya:

This invitation is to take part in research and not a sales or fundraising solicitation.

We’re inviting you to participate in a focus group with other UC Berkeley alumni. SimpsonScarborough, a higher education market research firm, was hired by the University to conduct a study of alumni. The purpose of the focus groups with alumni is to explore a variety of issues including your thoughts on Berkeley’s image and how you stay connected with the University. At no time during the focus group will you be invited or encouraged to submit a gift to the University. In fact, you will be paid an honorarium of $50 in cash for your participation!

YIf you are able to participate, please email Meredith Simpson at

1. Full name
2. Phone number where you can be contacted
3. First choice date/time
4. Second choice date/time (if applicable)
5. The total amount you have donated to non-profit organizations in the last year (so that we may place you in the appropriate group)

Your participation in the focus group is extremely important. This study will guide Berkeley’s future efforts to communicate with alumni. Please respond today!

Elizabeth Scarborough
President and Partner

CALEA in the news

So my legal namesake CALEA has been a source of interesting eyebrow raising for those who know its name when they are introduced to me.

Today it is in the news again.

Paul Kouroupas, vice president of regulatory affairs for Global Crossing, strongly criticized the Federal Communications Commission’s broadening of a 1994 law–originally intended to cover telephone providers–as disproportionately costly, complex, and riddled with privacy concerns. His company is one of the world’s largest Internet backbone providers.

“Our customers are large Fortune 500 companies–not too many of those companies are conducting drug deals or terrorist activities out of Merrill Lynch’s offices or using their phones in that way,” Kouroupas said at an event here sponsored by the DC Bar Association. “By and large we don’t get wiretap requests, yet we’re faced with the costs to come into compliance,” which he estimated at $1 million.

At issue is an order issued last fall by the Federal Communications Commission that set a deadline of May 14, 2007, by which most broadband and Internet phone providers are required to reengineer their networks for easier snooping by law enforcement. The move expanded the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, which Congress wrote to impose obligations on telephone companies, but not Internet providers.

“joining” the tribe

I went to Cal today (for those of you not in the know that is the University of California at Berkeley – the first school in the UC system so it is “California”). It was homecoming weekend but I really went because there was a Men’s Water Polo Game – vs Stanford. I played water polo at Cal and really love the game so it was great to go back to the pool and watch a great game.

Because of all the homecoming stuff the Alumni Association was out in force and I signed up for a lifetime membership (while I still can get the reduced rate for recent graduates). I still remember my first week at Cal as a freshman feeling like I had just joined this tribe and would belong in some way for life. My experience of Cal and feeling a part of “the tribe” is truly part of my identity. Having said that I don’t think that a university degree of any kind is the be all and end all. I know for me my university experience was wonderful and the right thing. I also don’t privilege degree holding people over those without degrees as a sort of ‘life policy’.

“getting Attention”

At the Syndicate Conference Seth Goldstein and Steve Gilmore were on screen talking about Attention Trust (via Isight). Seth started talking about how delicious sold for x-million dollars and that meant that Yahoo paid them between $30 and $100 for a persons links in the system. Seth said that as users start of figure out the equity of their attention they invest in systems that they will demand new models of equity (read $/resources) emerging. Lots of folks in the crowd really could not follow what he was saying or get it. This article makes it really clear. Who owns the wisdom of the crowd? The Crowd.

There was much discussion about the point at which things do get screwed up: Somebody grows by being open. Then they want to stay on top so they exert control (getting greedy about trying to keep you in or about money or information). When they exert too much control, then competitors can gang up by being more open (regaining the advantage that made the big guy big) or the public the big guy serves can desert.

All of which is to say that there are values that must be shared to succeed. But we’re still not sure what those values are; we’re still scribbling down Hammurabi’s Code. Once again, we are building a new society here.

I believe we start with the notions that:
* We all want to control our contributions.
* We all want the community to benefit if we in turn benefit.
* We expect mutual trust in the forms of transparency and honesty
* And we all — individual, collective, enabler — find uncivil behavior (spam, fraud, hate) unacceptable.

But there’s one more fundamental notion that informs this new society, a notion that big companies and institutions invariably forget because they were build in the old order:

This is no longer a centralized world, a world controlled by those institutions. This is a decentralized world, a world controlled by us.

And if you try to take control away from us, you will lose. It used to be that you could take control away from us and we had nowhere to go. But in this post-scarcity world, we can always go somewhere else for content or information or service. There’s always another news story, always another email service, always another search engine. Thus my first law, once again: Give us control and we will use it. Don’t and you will lose us.

Domocracy 2.0

I am excited to read about this effort Democracy 2.0. I know a lot of folks that have been working hard on innovative upgrades to our current democracy among them Tom Attlee and the National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation. This year there was also the release of Extreme Democracy.

I am hoping that in the coming year the tools that are being developed around identity can have some applicability to improved civil engagement, collective decision making and building more livable, thriving communities.

Democracy 2.0 Memes are articulated here.

Zen, Silent Holidays, TransPeople, Back in the World

I abstained from Christmas for the second year in a row. It was fun to watch it all go buy and not participate. I had a few flashed of positivity that made me think next year I could get into the season again. I had papers in hand for the first time in 4 years to go to Canada and back but my aunt said I couldn’t sleep in her basement so… I just declined to return.

I found a retreat to go on at Manzanita Village for 10 days. I was not quite thinking it would be about 6 1hour+ sits each day – this with meals and a work shift left little time for myself. All that meditating and eating in silence was GREAT though. Of course they didn’t mention Christmas at all (Even though I was there for Christmas) but we did all 8 nights of Hanukkah and 7 of Kwanzaa. I should add that not mentioning Christmas at all was sad for me – I generally think of myself as a happy Episcopalian and I get tired of inter-religious meaning ‘everything but christianity’ in California.

I got thinking about our community around identity while there because there was several non-binary-gender choice folks who were also meditating. Are we going to build identity systems that are inclusive of non-binary gender choices?

I sat beside a young Transwoman named Hanah, beside her was a woman named Fred who by the end of her stay was wearing a bright orange button that said I might be transsexual. There was a Transgender Man named Jaran. It is not to surprising that there would be some transgender folks at the treat because Caterian Reed one of the Dharma teachers there is a Transwoman. In the end sitting there meditating – people are just people.

It is good to be back now. Everything is moving just a bit slower. I am breathing more consciously and overall refreshed. I just did a sidebar revamp that includes events that I am going to or might go to all the way to October (you have to scroll down to get it).