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.

William and I met in September of 2013 via an e-mail introduction from Drummond Reed.  We started working together the day I met him on the efemurl project.  We were dating a few days later and a few weeks later we were engaged. We announced this during the closing circle at IIW #17.

The efemurl project was taking a extensively featured web platform William had built over several years and working to turn it further develop it and turn it into a consumer-co-operative.  The short hand way to describe, you know in that way they describe movie plots, it’s like Google and REI have a baby.  The core ideas developed for the efemurl platform will be brought over into the applications the Leola Group is developing.  Core aspects of what the Leola Group is are to valuable to be owned by one company and we will be working with Planetwork to turn the operation of those into a consumer co-operative.

So big questions for people in the community include:

Are you still involved with IIW? 
Yes of course!  IIW will continue and my roll with it will too. Phil Windley founded his company Kynetx and continues to be a co-leader of IIW with me and Doc.  We have a great production team lead by Heidi Nobantu Saul.

What is going to happen to PDEC?

We have worked to create a 6 month transition plan for the organization/community to new leadership.   We have brought on Dean Landsman (well known for his leadership in the VRM community) serve as Communications Director and among other things host regular community calls and host a podcast.  As part of taking on the Co-CEO role in the new company I have woven into the job taking the time needed to properly transition out of my role as Executive Director and work with the community over the next 6 months to get governance in line and then have that leadership group hire an new Executive Director. You can read more about it on the PDEC blog and see a video we made.

The organization just welcomed 11 new members. Dean will be presenting about his new role with PDEC at the Personal Data Meetup in NYC on Monday.

When are you getting Married?

William and I are getting married the weekend after IIW #20 which is April 7-9 (Yes, it’s way early!!!).  This will help friends coming for IIW from around the world being able to join in the celebration.

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

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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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