Dear IDESG, I’m sorry. I didn’t call you Nazi’s.

The complaint  by Mr. Ian Glazer was that I called my fellow IDESG colleagues Nazi’s. He was unsatisfied with my original statement about the tweet on our public management council mailing list.  Some how this led to the Ombudsman taking on the issue and after I spoke with him in Tampa it was followed by a drawn out 5 week “investigation” by the Ombudsman before he issued a recommendation.  During this time I experienced intensive trolling about the matter on twitter itself.

Here is the tweet that I authored while pondering theories of organizational dynamics in Tampa and without any intent to cause an association in the mind of a reader with IDESG, NSTIC, nor any person or persons in particular note that I did not reference anyone with a @____ or add any signifying hashtags e.g., #idesg or #nstic in this tweeted comment.


I own that the tweet was provocative but it was It was not my intent to cause harm to anybody or to the IDESG organization and wider identity community.

I in no way intended to imply that any member of the IDESG has any intention remotely similar to those of the NAZI party of Germany.

I in no way intended to imply that the content of the meeting of the IDESG related to the content of the meeting I referenced in the tweet.

I am very sorry if the tweet had an emotionally negative impact on people on the management council and particularly those of with Jewish Heritage.

I fully acknowledge that referencing anything relative to the Nazi era is triggering. It touches on our collective shame and surfaces vulnerability it is very hard to look at.

I also believe that we have to actually be prepared to do so. If we don’t examine the past we can’t be sure we will not repeat it. [Please click to see my my next post for this to be further expounded upon]

I’m sorry I didn’t say something along these lines sooner.

One should not feed the internet trolls and I didn’t.

I was in a process were I felt it was inappropriate to speak about this more until the Ombudsman’s process had run its course.

I think that we all need to keep in mind our roles as Directors of the IDESG when we interact with the public and with each other.

The whole process left my and my attorney puzzled. My attorney wrote a letter to the Management Council/Board of Directors with a whole bunch of questions and now that this is posted we look forward to their answers to those questions.




Info Sharing Agreements! Support it! Make it Real!

Joe Andrieu and the Information Sharing Working Group has put a lot of work and effort into creating a Standard set of Information Sharing Agreements represented by a standard label. They want to invest in user -research to make it really work.

I am putting in $100 and I encourage all of you to do the same. They need to raise $12000 in the next 8 days.

See the Kickstarter Campaign here.

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.













Web Wide Sentence Level Annotation ->

I first met Dan Whaley last spring via an introduction from Jim Fournier co-founder of Planetwork.  I was inspired by the vision he was working on building –  a way to have sentence level annotation of news and other articles on a web wide scale. Really a foundation for peer review on the web. The motivation for his work is to support greater discernment of the truth around climate change and other key issues facing our society and our planet.  (Another area I could see this being really useful right now is around accountability in the financial system and ways to make that real.)

He asked me to be a part of the project as an advisor particularly around identity issues and technology options for identity.  He is taking my advice and coming to IIW this coming week.  Its an honor to be amongst other distinguished advisors like Brewster Kahle,  John Perry Barlow,  Mark Surman and others..

He has been working on a development plan and has a solid on one in place.  He has launched a Kickstarter Campaign and  stars in the video that articulates the vision of the project.  If you are inspired by the vision I encourage you to contribute.

Is Google+ is being lynched by out-spoken users upset by real names policy?

Following my post yesterday Google+ says your name is “Toby” not “Kunta Kinte”, I chronicled tweets from this morning’s back and forth with  Tim O’Reilly and Kevin MarksNishant  KaushikPhil Hunt,  Steve Bogart and Suw Charman-Anderson.

I wrote the original post after watching the Bradley Horwitz (@elatable) – Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) interview re: Google+. I found Tim’s choice of words about the tone (strident) and judgement (self-righteous) towards those standing up for their freedom to choose their own names on the new social network being rolled out by Google internet’s predominant search engine disappointing.  His response to my post was to call me self-righteous and reiterate that this was just a market issue.

I myself have been the victim of a Google+ suspension since July 31st and yesterday I applied for a mononym profile (which is what it was before they insisted I fill out my last name which I chose to do so with my online handle and real life identity “Identity Woman”) 

In the thread this morning Tim said that the kind of pressure being aimed at Google is way worse then anything they are doing and that in fact Google was the subject of a “lynch mob” by these same people.  Sigh, I guess Tim hasn’t read much history but I have included some quotes form and links to wikipedia for additional historial context.

Update: inspired in part by this post an amazing post “about tone” as a silencing/ignoring tactics when difficult, uncomfortable challenges are raised in situations of privilege was written by Shiela Marie.  

I think there is a need for greater understanding all around and that perhaps blogging and tweeting isn’t really the best way to address it.  I know that in the identity community when we first formed once we started meeting one another in person and really having deep dialogues in analogue form that deeper understanding emerged.  IIW the place we have been gathering for 6 years and talking about the identity issues of the internet and other digital systems is coming up in mid-October and all are welcome.  The agenda is created live the day of the event and all topics are welcome.

Here’s the thread… (oldest tweets first)

 Note all the images of tweets in this thread are linked to the actual tweet (unless they erased the tweet).  [Read more…]

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).

[Read more…]

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”.

[Read more…]

Cartoon of the year!

Infocards, while currently not enjoying broad adoption, are inevitable
Paul Madsen Cartoon

When I first saw this cartoon in my aggregator it made me laugh and sigh.

At the privacy event at MIT at the beginning of this month the word on the street was that both OpenID as we know it and information cards as we know it are both “dead”.

I am a bit afraid for naming this “whispered fact” in the public blogosphere. The reason I am doing it is because I am very interested in learning more from people who were at the event about what was covered and what they think is promising.

I do know that there is energy behind moving OpenID ABC forward and John Bradley & Nat Sakimura are working hard on it.

Surfacing back into Cyberspace at Building 43 today

Basically this post is to say I am “back” – I have a bit more time on my hands this summer to pay attention to Cyberspace and want to give attention to expressing my thoughts and ideas in text online again. I am inspired by this mention by Scoble around the launch of  Building 43 that is happening today. I thought it was an actual physical space when I got the invitation. Turns out it is a website that Robert Scoble is leading. It is focused on what he calls the 2010 web and others call Web 3.0.

Here’s another way to put it. When you look at Techmeme and see all the tech bloggers yammering on about the latest cool things, the way they were this week about Facebook’s new URLs that are coming out tomorrow, or Apple’s new iPhone, do they look backward and think about the average businessperson? Not in my experience. We don’t have an industry conversation about how to actually use all this cool stuff to improve lives, make businesses stronger and closer to their customers, and have some fun.

A few people here and there are trying. I watch what Chris Messina, David Recordon, Marc Canter, Joseph Smarr, Kaliya Hamlin, and a group of others are trying to do by pushing a more open web. Those are the kinds of efforts that inspire me and are inspiring Building43. Can we build on what they are trying to do and take it to main street?

This actually impresses me cause I thought Scoble had just become an internet micro-celebrety for its own sake. I look forward to contributing to the conversation about the future of what is becoming a very social web where peoples identity online matters deeply.

Here is where I have been since my last post.

Since Social Web Foo Camp and posting the 80% complete article about communities context and online life. I haven’t blogged. I have been very busy though.

Immediately following I attended the “identity day” at RSA on Monday April 20th –  talks were given from the front of the room for a day. Liberty Alliance put the day together along with the Information Card Foundation- The Kantara Initiative was “launched”. I am not clear that the format of the day actually provided greater understanding by those outside our community that are confused by all the activity.

The exciting thing that happened leading up to this day was the launch of the new Information Card Foundation Website – I gave some feedback that was included in the core language and messaging. It has great Flash animation explaining the cards along with featured projects including the GSA Demo.

RSA was fun – I didn’t spend to much time in sessions mostly talking to people in the community. I led a peer-to-peer session on Business Models for Claims Based Identity. A good group attended however the room layout was cold and stale. (I will be writing about it on my unconference blog shortly).

Penguin Day followed on April 25th. This is a super fun day facilitated by Allen Gunn focused on Non-Profits and Open Source. I learned more about TikiWiki as a content management system (I am considering it as the platform for She’s Geeky). I also was impressed by how much CiviCRM had improved. I also talked to a college registrar very interested in how information card technology might play a roll in getting them out of paper based management of student records and certification.

The Nonprofit Technology Conference followed – they had a large exhibit hall and I talked to many of the vendors there about OpenID and Information Cards – about 1/2 had heard about OpenID and almost none about Information Cards. It was great to talk to my friends in the industry (I have been attending this conference since 2004). Social Actions is progressing and is creating a way to aggregate action information for social good.

I flew to NYC to facilitate the Creative Unconference on May 7-8 put on by the One Club for Art and Copy collaborating with the Society for Digital Agencies.  This was during Creative Week. The One Club gives out bronze, sliver and gold pencil’s – some of the most prestigious awards in the advertising business. They attended their interactive awards on Friday night – I brought Robert Tolmach along as a guest and he told me about his new project – Class Wish.

I went to DC and spent the day at the Sex 2.0 conference at the intersection of social media, feminism and sexuality. I was particularly interested in how this community was thinking thinking about and dealing identity online and off. Many people had names they went by within the community that were different from their “every day” names. Several presenters talked about having two facebook profiles (one for their sex life and one for regular life) I pointed out that this against facebook policy and they were surprised – it seemed very natural to have two persona’s. Other presenters talked about being fully “out” completely linking their sex life.

I attended the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology Women of Vision Awards. It was a very inspiring evening. Padmashree Warrior the CTO of Cisco was the key note speaker – she was super inspiring and gave ideas about how to connect to the community 2.0 audience.

I spoke at Community 2.0 about identity technologies. I covered OpenID, OAuth and Information Cards and at the end mentioned project VRM for those who were very forward looking. It was a relatively small conference and I spent a lot of time preparing for the talk with my speech coach. My issue has been having to much to say – I can talk about identity for hours and in great detail. Lura helped me figure out what to say. I did a good job clearly communicating and had several people say they enjoyed my talk and it gave them some practical information not just social media guru hype.

I went to the first day of the VRM workshop and was totally impressed by the quality of projects and companies working in the space. Several attendees didn’t know about IIW and a few signed up to attend.

The Internet Identity Workshop was AMAZING. We had the same number of attendees as we usually do. I am going to write some more posts about the event soon. The next IIW is November 3-5 in Mountain View.

I went to the Maker Faire on Sunday the 31st of May – it was fun to see all the stuff people are making. I also got a LiveScribe Pen. I will be using it for diagrams on this blog in the coming months.

June 1 was CommunityOne where i saw Jono Bacon talk about Community there were 10 people to see him speak in an auditorium that held 1000.

I flew to Boston and met with Fabio Carara of the Venice Project Center and Venice 2.0 – they are considering how to leverage 20 years worth of geo-data. We are discussing building a community including a few unconferences.

I had dinner with Mary Ruddy and we continued progress on Identity Commons infrastructure – particularly our new blog/website.

I facilitated the Mass Technology Leadership Council Spring Meeting that asked the question “What is the future of Software and the Internet” I lead a session on identity – they asked good questions and were impressed by all the activity in the space.

I flew to San Francisco – to make it back for the 2nd Scala Lift Off. Scala is a programming language – some describe as Java++, Lift is a web framework. This is a great programming language community with an healthy online community life. I work supporting them in community building when the meet face-to-face.

Yesterday I was working with Forum One facilitating the 4th Online Community Unconference. This is a great community of online community managers (the folks who moderate online community), platform providers (software providers) and hosts (companies that have online communities). I presented a session about OpenID, OAuth and Information Cards – I even got a bottle of wine during the closing from one of the attendees thanking me for the quality of information that I shared.

Today it is the Building 43 party at Tech Crunch and next week is SemWeb in San Jose – I will likely make it to the Personal Democracy Forum. The next “identity” event is Burton Group Catalyst at the end of July in San Diego.

I look forward engaging in this medium again with a post every few days.

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.

on Women talking at technology conferences

Chris Messina has a good post up about women and the Future of Web applications (the conference and the tools).

As far as I’m concerned, one of the greatest opportunities to seize the future of web apps is to cement the necessity of diversity in our processes and in our thinking, not for the sake of diversity alone (deserving though it is) but because the technology that we produce is better for it, being more robust, more versatile and flexible, and ultimately, more humane.

The future of web apps — and the conferences that tell their stories — should not be gender-neutral or gender-blind — but gender-balanced. Today, as it was two years ago, we suffer from a severe imbalance. It is my hope that, in raising the specter of consequences of the lack of women in technology, we begin to make as much progress in stitching diversity into the fabric of our society as we are making in producing source code.

I actually invited participants at Gnomedex 2006 when I was the “MVP” (that is – i didn’t have a schedulled speaking slot but the audience “voted” me on stage to fill a 15 min void for the MVP audience member) to think about these things.

I said that the app builders in the audience should get out of their boxes and start thinking about apps that socar mom’s, and churches and other realms of social civic engagement that could really use some good apps. Places that are not brimming with white guys under the age of 30 (in San Francisco). The audience wasn’t so sure about this idea.

I personally have been asked to speak at one conference this season – Community 2.0 in May. I am working with my speach coach on the talk and very much looking forward to redeeming myself. I worked with her on the last talk I gave at Net Squared in June that went ‘ok’ and I was thankful for that.

I think my story might be helpful in addressing this issue – which is why I am sharing it.

I was tapped by O’Reilly folks to speak at eTel and Web 2.0 in 2006. I didn’t do that great at eTel – I had never given a 10 min speech. I didn’t get any outside voice to help me and I should have but it didn’t even occur to me that one might hire someone to help one in such a situation. I thought I had to do it all on my own.

After the talk they suggested I talk to a speech coach for my upcoming talk at Web 2.0 Expo that they had tapped me to do (that is I didn’t go through the submission process they just asked me) that some of their own hosts of conferences had used – I figured this was a good recommendation. I listened to his advice but it actually failed me – he was not available to help (health issues) but was not clear about how limited his ability to help would be until to late. O’Reilly conferences were not clear with me what the composition of the audience would be (it was a CMP audience not an O’Reilly audience) so I gave the wrong kind of talk.

I was very nervous about the speech – didn’t prep well for (speech coach sort of 1/2 helping (when if I had just been on my own it would have been better) he also encouraged me to push beyond what I had originally said I would cover in the talk – I didn’t sleep that much the night before. I was visionary but that didn’t match what was in the program. 1/2 the audience walked out and I was shaken to the core – basically had stage fright for a year. (here is my blog post following it). There was no talk with O’Reilly folks about what had gone wrong, what could have been better – just silence and never an invite back.

I was “on my own” it was “my responsibility” but I was also in a vacuum. YES it is up to women to take responsibility but if the whole industry is serious about changing who is “always on stage” it also takes a village of – encouragement, good advice, and support.

Women don’t self-promote like the alpha dog’s in the industry do. Sorry it is just true. Ask women in leadership hiring in the software industry. Men over promote their skill set by double when seeking employment (generally) and Women under promote their skill set by 1/2.

I am am getting much better as a speaker. I certainly know what I am talking about in the realm of user-centric digital identity having facilitated over 15 events in the field in the past 3.5 years, doing technical and non-technical evangelism and working on the subject matter for 5 years now. I don’t run around telling conference organizers that I should be speaking at their conferences either. I did apply to RSA to be a Peer-to-peer discussion leader and was chosen to do so for the second year in a row. I also was tapped to facilitate a panel on OpenID, Oauth and the enterprise at SXSW. That is all the speaking I am doing so far this season.

I organized She’s Geeky as a way to address the challenges that we face – both being small minorities at conferences and not many of the faces on stage. She’s Geeky is the most diverse technology conference I have ever been to – it has the most non-white faces I have ever seen at a technology event. Please don’t get me wrong like the woman on stage at FOWA – I love dudes. I don’t think you last long in this industry if you don’t like men, enjoy working with them and can get along in their culture. I also wish there was more women and have decided once in a while to have a women’s only space to geek out in would be a fun thing to support.

I think it is also important to mention something else. As a woman putting yourself out there is risky. I watched what happened to Kathy Sierra – it was kinda freaky. I talked to a friend of mine – another prominent women in tech that week saying how deepy what happened to Kathy had shaken me. She said – well that is what happens if you become prominent enough – you get hate speech and death threats – basically this is what you signed up for if you chose this career path. It is another reason just go about doing my business – working on facilitating the identity community rather then “raising my profile” so conference organizers might tap me. I have had a mild case of a stalker around my work as identity woman a few years ago and I really don’t want another one. Not something guys think about really when they do their day jobs in technology. The latent misogyny is apparently REAL in some corners of this community. We need to know that we have the support of community behind us and won’t be attacked for speaking out against hate speech.

The issues are complex. I hope that as an industry we can continue to address them.

On the Fast Company List of Influential Women in Tech

Fast Company Image

This morning I got a ping via facebook from Bernard Moon:

hey, congrats on making the Fast Company list. you didn’t even post about it on your blog. don’t be humble! :)

It is an amazing list. It was sparked in part by the “heated conversation” that erupted after they posted The Most Influential Women in Web 2.0. They divide the list into these 7 categories and resisted the temptation to “number” us from “most influential to less influential” – thank goodness cause that would have been a very alpha-dog thing to do.

I am in the list of evangelists that includes, Mitchell Baker, danah boyd, Red Burns, Susan Crawford, Esther Dyson, Tara Hunt, Charlene Li and Mary Meeker.

This is a quote from their introduction and reflects the same reasons why I helped get She’s Geeky started. That is the unconference for women in tech that is happening for the third time next weekend

women in tech remain at a distinct disadvantage by any metric: average salary, top-management representation, board memberships. Silicon Valley, in particular, remains largely a boys’ club. In May 2007, Women in Technology International published a survey of 2,000 working women, about half of whom reported gender-based workplace inequality or said their opinions were less respected or sought out than those of male counterparts.

Several of the women who are on the list wrote blog posts for Fast company. Later today they are publishing a post that I did about the other women who work in digital identity.

The only tech sector that I know of that has gender parity is the non-profit technology sector. Beth Kanter who I met at the first BlogHer – has a great post about other amazing women in her sector.

Rashmi Sinha from Slide Share has a post up listing A Daily Dose of Blogs for the Tech Entrepreneur.

Tara Hunt co-founder of Citizen Agency has a post on 7 ways to increase your Whuffie Factor.

Parents and Technology

I just found this article on Yahoo! News.

It is quite disturbing

There are two companies offering a service to parents WQN and Aegis Mobility – there is software and then a monthly fee. Then services track the kids and turn of their phones in certain locations.

WQN’s surveillance service promises more than just disabling the phone in cars. It can monitor a person’s whereabouts, notifying parents by text messaging when their children step out of designated zones or return home. It also can turn off a cell phone at school, preventing cheating by text messaging during classroom tests, based on a reading of the school’s location.

The question parents would have to ask themselves is whether they’d want to prohibit their children’s activities this way. That kid you’re trying to control might not be driving, but rather sitting on a train or a city bus or in the passenger seat of a buddy’s car.

It seems a whole set of technology tools that are part of enabling over parenting. sigh.

Big Annoucement: Information Card Foundation

This is the Information Card Foundation website. Charles Andres the ED of the foundation has been working hard getting it ready.

This announcement is really big news on several levels.
There are major internet players on board committed to cooperating together on this technology – as the founding corporate board members Novell, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Equifax. There are quite a few companies that are also launch members:

Arcot Systems,
A.T.E. Software,,
FuGen Solutions,
Fun Communications,
Parity Communications,
Ping Identity,
Wave Systems,

associate members
Fraunhofer Institute
Liberty Alliance;

The people in this community on the board are also really great and have met an talked with most of them myself.
Paul Trevithick,
Kim Cameron, (as a community member not MSFT’s rep)
Mary Ruddy,
Ben Laurie
Pamela Dingle
Patrick Harding
Drummond Reed
Andrew Hodgkinson (I haven’t met)
Axel Nenker (I haven’t met)
Mike Jones (as the MSFT board member)

This includes PayPal and Equifax who have been publicly involved with the user-centric identity efforts until now.

One of the issues with information cards will end-users actually adopt the client side code they need to make this work? And who will issue managed information cards.

PayPal has the ability to really drive client side adoption of card selectors and to be a managed card issuer.

It got coverage in the NYTimes. (Yhey spell Bob Blakley’s name wrong in it)

I found it frustrating they said these technologies were “like a drivers license”

The community has worked so hard on the Laws of Identity and the OECD paper with the Principles of Identity. Drivers Licenses seem like the wrong analogy to explain the technology and make people safe or excited about it. I don’t like being asked for my drivers license everywhere – it often gives away to much information. Oh well. I guess there is more explaining to do about how these systems can and should work to improve on how we do identity in the real world with drivers licenses.

Data Interop: an open letter from the largest nonprofit vendor

Recently a report from a know tech publication was at a conference I was leading. She asked me
“what is interesting that is happening right now.”
I said “the nonprofit technology session.”
She said – “well I cover business issues.”
I shared with her that one of the largest vendor of nonprofit technology Kintera was a publicly traded company AND that there was big business opportunities for providing technology solutions in that sector. She looked at me surprised as if it had never occurred to her that you could make money in this sector. Recently the two other large vendors in the space merged – Get Active and Convio. They became just Convio and are now the largest vendor in the sector.

This month’s theme for NTEN’s Newsletter is Data Interoperability. This is the open Letter the published there.

Gene Austin, Chief Executive Officer, Convio and Tom Krackeler, VP, Product Management, Convio

It is incumbent on all software vendors serving the nonprofit sector to open opportunities for nonprofits to have greater choice and flexibility in pursuing their missions.

To meet the expectations of nonprofits today — and five years from now — software vendors need to facilitate interoperability between systems and enable integration between offline and online data and the new Web. And they should do so with one clear purpose in mind: to open the possibilities for nonprofits to find and engage constituents to support their missions.

The NTEN community has been leading the charge for openness. With Salesforce and Facebook, Convio has embraced openness as a way of doing business.

Software vendors should:

1. provide nonprofit organizations of all sizes and in any stage of Internet adoption the flexibility to integrate with other web or database applications to exchange constituent and campaign data.
2. make their Open APIs available to clients, partners, and a broad developer community.
3. expose Open APIs as part of their core product functionality.
4. proactively use APIs provided by other companies in additional to providing their own.
5. make their API documentation publicly available and provide a forum for sharing and discussing best practices and exchanging code examples.
6. publish a roadmap for their API development and encourage participation in the development of that roadmap.
7. make their APIs accessible to nonprofits at a level that does not require extensive technical expertise to leverage those APIs.

Twitter and emerging currency

Some of you may know that I have roots in a community called Planetwork that has had an interest in ‘alternative’ currency and the role that digital identity could play a role in a emergent currency systems.

So, today my interest was peaked by this e-mail from Biz Stone at Twitter talking about an interesting new application being built on twitter.

Do You Owe Someone A Beer? is a fun IOU system built on Twitter that helps you track who you owe beers to (and vice versa). All you have to do is follow the account “ioubeer” and then send it @replies. So, say you owe me a beer for helping you change a flat tire, this is what you’d send to Twitter:

@ioubeer @biz for helping me change that flat tire

Then, your IOU will show up on the front page at There’s even a way to tell it when that beer has been redeemed. I think a root beer version is in the works. Maybe even a latte version? Those are foamy too. Dan Cederholm of SimpleBits design is the mastermind behind this fanciful creation. We think it’s really cool. Thanks Dan, we owe you a frosty one!


AT&T has programming language for surveillance

on the WIRED Blgo Network

From the company that brought you the C programming language comes Hancock, a C variant developed by AT&T researchers to mine gigabytes of the company’s telephone and internet records for surveillance purposes.

An AT&T research paper published in 2001 and unearthed today by Andrew Appel at Freedom to Tinker shows how the phone company uses Hancock-coded software to crunch through tens of millions of long distance phone records a night to draw up what AT&T calls “communities of interest” — i.e., calling circles that show who is talking to whom.

The system was built in the late 1990s to develop marketing leads, and as a security tool to see if new customers called the same numbers as previously cut-off fraudsters — something the paper refers to as “guilt by association.”

Because she Owns Her Image

This is quite an interesting case and highlights a flaw that can occur when people who use Creative Commons work.

A Texas family has sued Creative Commons after their teenaged daughter’s photo was used in an ad campaign for Virgin Mobile Australia. The photo had been taken by the girl’s youth counselor, who put it on Flickr, and chose a CC Attribution license, which allows for commercial use. Virgin did, in fact, attribute the photo to the photographer, fulfilling the terms of the license, but the family is still suing Virgin Mobile Australia and Creative Commons.

The photographer can license the work under CC (for comercial or non-comercial purposes) but that does not mean that the person in the photo has licensed their image to be used.

They should not be suing CC but instead Virgin Mobile because they failed to get permission from her to use her image.

I actually had this happen to me. An image was taken of me at HollyHock and the next year I went to the site to check out their programs I found out I was their new poster girl. I would have given them permission to use my image had they asked but they didn’t.

Soon we will know what you are thinking

This came through Slashdot and was on the BBC:

Since 9/11, some of the best scientific minds in the defence industry have switched their concentration from tracking nuclear missiles to tracking individuals such as suicide bombers.

This quote is in the side bar make it sound all OK. Opinion polls, both in the US and Britain, say that about 75% of us want more, not less, surveillance



Ian Kitajima flew to Washington from his laboratories in Hawaii to show me sense-through-the-wall technology.

“Each individual has a characteristic profile,” explained Ian, holding a green rectangular box that looked like a TV remote control.

Using radio waves, you point it a wall and it tells you if anyone is on the other side. His company, Oceanit, is due to test it with the Hawaiian National Guard in Iraq next year, and it turns out that the human body gives off such sensitive radio signals, that it can even pick up breathing and heart rates.

“First, you can tell whether someone is dead or alive on the battlefield,” said Ian.

“But it will also show whether someone inside a house is looking to harm you, because if they are, their heart rate will be raised. And 10 years from now, the technology will be much smarter. We’ll scan a person with one of these things and tell what they’re actually thinking.”

Phone troubles – Is Grand Central the Answer?

So, I got a shiny new iPhone (for facilitating office 2.0’s Unconference) but I can’t get it to work yet.

I have MetroPCS – the ‘ghetto phone’ for those of you who don’t know it works like this – you buy the handset, you pay them your monthly fee on time or they turn your phone off. You have unlimited local and long distance calling. SIMPLE. No bill’s, no rolling min, just a phone that works. The catch – your phone only works in your metro area. This is why I have another number (from T-Mobile) that I pay by the min for when I travel to different cities.

So I went to sign up for the new iPhone via my computer. It won’t just let me get an account. I have to get ‘pre-approved’ credit from an AT&T store. To be honest I have not done a lot to get ‘credit’ so I am not surprised. I don’t have a credit card. I don’t have a loan for a car or anything.

My husband and I went to the AT&T store so that I could piggy back on his account/credit and get a phone activated. I decided I would try and port my number. They want to know not only my phone number but my ‘account number’ (remember I have the ghetto phone plan – no bills no nothing that I see an ‘account number’ on). They also want to know my address in their records AND my name. I have this feeling that when I got this phone 4 years ago that I had a different address and I was still going by my maiden name. These things are all not ‘persistent’ I am not sure what their records say and if I don’t know I must not be me right?

All I knew and all they put in their system was my phone number. I get this phone call from them asking me to call them back and give them more information so they can port my number for me.

I am thinking it is all to much trouble and I should get a Grand Central number and a new number from them and tell everyone my grand central number.

Anyone have any thoughts on their service to date or making this kind of choice. With Google acquiring them they are not going to go out of business any time soon.

Cel phone Forensics Kit…for all your personal spying needs.

My husband recently got a new free phone from his cell phone company (because his 600 treo finally bit the dust).

While searching around for the wires needed to connect his phone to his mac…He noticed this little $3000 gadget the ‘secure view kit for forensics’.

Secure View for Forensics is the ultimate software and hardware solution which provides law enforcement, corporate security and forensics consultants with logical data extraction of the content stored in the mobile phone. Investigators can now gain access to vital information in seconds without the need to wait for crime reports.

There is this nice little note at the bottom of the page:

Note: Features other than Phonebook Manager are based on phone model (check phone support before purchase). DataPilot product family is for personal use only. You can connect and transfer data to a maximum of 8 different handsets.

From the Web 2.0 World

I spent a lot of today looking through my ‘tech’ feeds (yes I have an RSS reader going again) and found some interesting posts….

You Departed – so you can leave messages for your family after you die from Tech Crunch

Identity Theft targets pedigree poodle from Boing Boing

Why Open Source Software is Social Media from James Governor’s Monkchips

Their has been an interesting conversation about the word and meaning of ‘USER” in the software world.

Thomas Vander Wal – Still Throwing Out the User
Tech Crunch – Long Live the User
Charlene Li – observations from the ‘user’ debate

The DHS secret list of buildings you can’t photograph from Boing Boing.

Blackberry vs iPhone on TechCrunch
This really cute parody video

Community Organizer #1 Job of the Future by Seth Godin

House Cats and their Domestication History on Boing Boing.

Ikea opens hostel for shoppers in Norway on Boing Boing

User Agent’s Spotted at Supernova

I had a good time overall at supernova. I found two user-agent’s.

Well what is a user-agent? they are programs that work on the users behalf. I found this definition on Dr. K’s Blog:

it would seem that “user-centric” identity is about creating an “agent-in-the-middle” architecture for identity systems. An agent (usually automated) for the user sits in the middle of the identity flow, analyzing the flow request and determining how to handle the response. The determination would be based on policies defined by the user. It may require the agent to bring the user in for an explicit approval, or it may automatically approve or reject the flow based on previous user preferences (similar to the user checking the box that says “do not ask me again”). It may also apply a configured rule or policy to the identity flow that determines the action to take – ask user, approve, reject.

So who were these agents? One was WiMoto – when I fist talking to Scott Redmond he was explaining his tool…and I just didn’t like it..about advertising on my phone etc…THEN all of a sudden I ‘got it’ – I said “oh this is cool you have a user-agent.” I explained what it was from our ‘user-centric identity’ perspective. He was like sure I guess what is that we have. I met him early in the evening of a cocktail party where he would be demoing throughout. At the end he said he was eternally indebted to me for giving him that word “user-agent”. Apparently it let him communicate effectively to the other folks all night. It is now on the front page of their website. I still don’t get exactly how it works though.

The second user-agent I found was MyStrands – it is a mobile social networking app for night clubs. So you can text to the screen when you are in shared space together (like at the night club). It also lets you opt in to get information about the bands and clubs. So it is a promotion network. They look like their are going some where!