Online Community Unconfernece “Its BACK!”

I am really excited to be working with a super awesome crew of leaders of the Online Community Manager Tribe – or OCTribe.  We have been considering reviving the event and the pieces have finally come together to do it.

May 21st at the Computer History Museum

Registration is Open!

I really love the other co-organizers who are all rockstar community managers.

The conference was originally produced by Forum One and I contracted with them to help design and facilitate. That event itself grew out of an invitational summit they hosted annually on online communities.  I actually attended one of these in 2004 as a replacement for Owen Davis who I worked for at the time at Identity Commons (1).

My firm is doing the production and facilitation for the event.

I plan to bring forward topics of digital identity forward at the event and hopefully get some of the amazing expertise on identity and reputation to participate in NSTIC.



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  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.




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.

[Read more…]

We are not at War

I was the first person Van asked to speak at the Community Leadership Summit West Ignite talks. I was the last person to submit my slides. I have a lot to say about community but I had a hard time figuring out exactly what to say. I knew I wanted to talk about the identity community and our success in working together. Robert Scoble’s quote really got me going and I decided to use the talk to respond to the comment that was catalyzed by his facebook post/tweet “Who is going to win the Identity War of 2010”

This is completely the wrong frame to foster community collaboration.

ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit Announced

The ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit announcement is live. I am working on this with them as the facilitator. The event is modeled on the format we use at the Internet Identity Workshop to get a lot done and have real discussions about emerging topics in industry.

ReadWriteWeb has offered high quality coverage of this area for a long time and they seem like a natural convener of real conversation. Of course Identity is key to this industry but so are many other things.

Learn more here

Register here.

Making ID/Social Web Products Better

This Friday I am going to be co-facilitating a day of learning and exchange about Innovation, Design and Serious Games Exchange this Friday in San Francisco. I would like to invite you all to participate. It will be an open space style unconfernece – with attendees creating the agenda – it is open to all.

Last September I took a training with the founder of Innovation Games Luke Hohmman (to be a game facilitator) and it was amazing set of fun “games” to play with the users/customers of one’s products. Quite different then a focus group in terms of the kind of information that you get about how to shape/design your products. (wikipedia article – details all 12 games and information about selecting the appropriate game)

I know what you are asking how is playing games going to help with my products, workplace or process. I wondered this too….her is a simple example.

I explained one of them (Buy a Feature) this way at the Online Community Unconference – say you have a next generation set of features to build for your product – you have 10 potential features but only time to build a few of them – how do you prioritize/decide about which ones to put in the next release?
Buy a Feature is a game you can play o do this (and it is both online and face to face)
You bring in 10 current customers together and give them each $200 of play money. You give each of your features a cost totaling $3000-$4000 (one might be $100 (really easy to build) $500 (harder/more time) etc.) They must amongst them selves figure out how to spend their $2000 to by a limited set of the 10 features. You could play this with several sets of customers and then gather information about what they want. It helps you make decisions about what to build AND it is fun for them to play the game of “buying” the features they want.
The conference is not limited to “just” innovation games but also includes other design and “serious” games.

  • Design games: Offering collaborative design activities within a game format improves idea generation and communication among stakeholders. By shifting focus to the game, power relations and other factors that might hamper idea generation, are downplayed
  • Serious games: Ranging from theater improvisation to interactive games technology within non-entertainment sectors, serious games have uses in education, government, health, military, science, corporate training, first responders, and social change

You don’t have to be an expert to attend – if you are just exploring these things we invite you along.

There have been a few companies in the identity space that have used these tools – I just can’t say who.

I am also happy to talk with folks if they are interested in using games to innovate and do better product design in the identity and social web space.

Here is the book if you are interested in learning more.

“Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play” (Luke Hohmann)

Nov 13th Kids Online: Balancing Safety and Fun – (un)confernece about the issues and best practices

I am working with Joi Podgorny and Denise Tayloe on this day following the Internet Identity Workshop Nov 10-12 in Mountain View, CA. You can register here on Event Brite. We are bringing together a range of practitioners and experts to work collaboratively for a day together.

Our goal is to leave the day with greater clarity around some core best practices and have next steps as an industry to help kids being safer online.

All of the attendees will make up the agenda together at the event itself. We do welcome ideas and suggestions for topics you hope get discussed the day of the event.

This is a day to dive in and work collaboratively on these kinds issues around kids online:

  • Who and what are we trying to protect digital kids from?
  • Are there standards and norms in practice that we can leverage to formalize best practices for industry?
  • Kids fake their ages to gain access to online content, do we as an industry care? If so, then?
  • How do we create best practices that are flexible based on age range, content and willingness for parental involvement by industry or the child?
  • How can we create cyber spaces that balance interesting and fun with safety?
  • What is the role of government in either defining or supporting best practices?

Who this (un) conference is for:

  • Online Community/Virtual World Managers
  • Policy officers and Security Officers at large companies
  • Consultants in the kids online space
  • Identity technologists
  • State Attorney Generals
  • Legislative Staffers
  • Parents and Kids
  • Academics in the field
  • Bloggers

Adult attendees of the conference are welcome to bring their children ages 10-25 to particiapte in the conversations. There will not be child care, this is about talking about the issues with the constituents we are talking about present.

(Kid’s Online is an Identity Commons Action Group)

This week the Internet Safety Task Force had a meeting this past week. dana boyd has a post about it happening here.

Here are some reports from the blogosphere worth reading:

Harry Lewis – More on Internet Safety
I was pretty shaken by the end of the first day of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force yesterday. I had a meeting right afterwards, which I entered by yelping a primal scream.

Benlog – Children vs. Anonymity
The day started with a few words from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal….I think the only statement I agree with is that parents should be empowered.

Surveill@nce St@te – State AGs Push Online Child Safety Snake Oil
Won’t someone think of the children?
Given the intense political pressure to do something about child safety online, and a complete lack of proven, peer-reviewed, and abuse-resistant technologies available on the market, a number of private companies have stepped in to fill the void…

Braden Cox – The Safety Chase
Discussions focused mostly on what technical solutions exist for addressing the perceived lack of online safety on social networking websites. But overall there’s still a need to connect the most important dot—do proposed solutions actually make children safer?

Jim Kertetter – Help line in the works for cyberbullying victims
Perhaps the biggest reason for that is students’ behavior: A recent survey of high school students done by the Teenangels found 70 percent of the kids surveyed share passwords with other people. The reasons are often innocuous, such as asking someone to check their e-mail for them, or to find a homework assignment for them. Often, teens in relationships will share passwords to assure one another they’re being faithful.

Online Community Unconference East

On February 21 I will be facilitating the Online Community Unconference East.

I think the topic of user-centric identity will definitely come up. Please feel free to join in this gathering for online community practitioners – managers, developers, business people, tool providers, investors – to discuss experience and strategies in the development and growth of online communities, and the use of social media. Those involved in online community development (and social software in general) share many common challenges: community strategy, community management, ROI, tool selection, marketing, business models, and legal issues (just to name a few). The best source of information on all of these challenges is other knowledgeable practitioners.

The Unconference leverages the unique format of Open Space. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of “Open Space”, the idea is to tap in to the collective knowledge of the attendees by having the Unconference attendees actually drive the agenda and session topics. Open Space is the perfect antidote to the prevailing “talking heads” conference model, because the sessions are truly in depth conversations. You will meet the people you need to talk to, and you will have the conversations you need to have!

Organizations attending include:, Alliance to Save Energy, AOL, Business Week Digital, Changing The Present, Consumers Union, Cyworld, EchoDitto, Family Justice, Inc, Gartner,, IBM, Mercy Corps, Patricia Seybold Group, Showtime Networks Inc, Socialtext, Texas Instruments, TV Guide Online.

The event is Febuary 21st and is going to be held at the Newman Conference Center. The price for the Unconference is $195, but I’ve included a discount code for $25 off below.

To register, please go to:
Enter discount code “kaliyaspeeps” for $25 off

Online Community Camp was Great

I had a good day at the Online Community Camp at Fort Mason. I have posted some thoughts about the day’s process on my unconference blog on process.

I got to speak to a small group during lunch about the user-centric identity space and again to a larger session focused on emerging technologies – Web2.0 you know. It was well received and many of the folks here were thankful to learn about the emerging trends.

Technorati Tags: , ,

BayCHI talk coming together

I am talking tomorrow at BayCHI along with giving the folks a taste of unconference process.

First I will do picture filled “tour” of unconfernce processes and patterns for about 1/2 an hour and then answering some questions.

The irony of being asked to speak about designing unconferences is not lost on me because conferences have experts or distinguished speakers share their knowledge broadcast style to an audience. I decided that it would only be appropriate to do what happens at unconferences tap into the knowledge is in the room because the BayCHI community has been to many 100’s of events, conferences, workshops, meetings. They know more collectively then I do.

We will use the discovery process of Appreciative Inquiry to share the knowledge in the room about effective and inspiring process at conferences.

The audience will divide up into dyads and answer these questions:
Think of a time in your entire conference going experience, when have you felt most alive, most inspired and most proud. What was it that made it a high point? Please tell that story. Follow up question What seemed particularly effective or innovative?

Then we will gather in small groups of 6-10:
First tell each others story to the others in the group.
2. Merge lists of key qualities and circumstances of peak (un)conference going experiences.
3. Pick from this list the top two elements.

Then with the whole audience will hear from each group the key elements they found in their group.

BJ a Dialogue Mapper will capture the whole audience participation. I will collect the papers that have the merged list of each of the groups and will post them likely on the dCamp wiki.

Talking at BayCHI on Unconference Design May 9

I am going to be talking at BayCHI on unconference design next month on May 9. It will be fun to share what I have learned from my years of conference attendance and recent foray into helping produce and facilitated unconferences like the Internet Identity Workshop and Mashup Camp.

I went to BayCHI on Tuesday to get a sense of the crowd. T hey had great questions for the Social Search companies there. Pandora, Live365, Netflix, Digg and

The funniest part of the evening was when the Digg guy was like ‘way back in the Web 1.5 days’ and the live365 guy goes ‘you mean in November’ – everyone cracked up.

It reminded me of a comment that was made in a conversation with Doc and Mary Referring to an event… in ‘internet time’ that was three years ago (but really it was a year in solar time).

There is no power in sessions at Mix06

Apparently MS seems to think we are about 5 yrs ahead of time using 10 hour fuel cell batteries or something in our laptops.

There are literally NO power bar outlets in the seating area of the entire 1300 person auditorium for keynotes. The walls on either side are ‘flexiwalls’ so no power from them. There is one outlet with two plugs in this main hall. In the breakout session rooms there are a couple outlets at the back. I went and asked why they didn’t have plugs and they were like we have wifi. I was like “power cord plugs” they were like oh?

Scoble (who was part of organizing this) – you would think that they would meet peoples power needs. Heck they have seat beanbags with Mix embroidered on them. One thing they get right even if the wifi isn’t working is that there is power.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Conferences 2.0

More thoughts on improving this game that arose while at etech. I would like to know who paid to be on stage. It is like google ads – the real search results are on one side and the ads are on the other. We should know who is buying our attention for how much. We should vote on who we want to let buy our attention as an audience – after all we did pay $1300 to be there (and our hotel on top of that). Didn’t we pay not to have it bought?

Can we have better feedback loops beyond IRC. At TED last year they had a little text message voting thing that you could use to say what you thought of the speaker as they wrapped up.

We had some amazing talks about great philosophical ideas that could inform a lot of folks work in this space. I wondered about the possibility of having the audience actually process (talk to itself) about the ideas and things it is learning about. How might that idea, notion, research fact influence and affect the work all these ‘alpha geeks’ are doing.

I have started a blog on unconferences to gather more practices and ideas and thoughts. and, net and com will resolve there within the week.

Technorati Tags: ,

Meet space technology improvement for etech and other ‘traditional’ conferences

Ao the physical space situation here at etech is horrible. The rooms are too small – it is not only sold out but over sold. We are sitting in the isles and standing 2 deep at the back of the room. Here is a summary of the current issues and some potential solutions.

Venues – flexible support for interaction:
It seems there is a real market for innovative collaborative community meet space. With the emergence of camps and unconferences what are the space that can support these events. The space where we meet – like the nowhere store was.

Accommodations – We need integrated diversity:
I am staying the youth hostel (it is the nicest one I have ever been in). Because for this event I want a nice bed to sleep in and I don’t care if I need to share with others. I am paying $72 for three nights (they make $96 if they sell out my 4 bed room). Some want the kind of accommodations that cost $300-$500 a night. How can you have those market nees and everything in between near by.

Food – good food reasonable cost:
How can you feed people good food for low cost. I think most coming to a conference would be able to afford about $10 a meal. Presentation doesn’t matter really the food does. This is what we paid for food at the internet identity workshop – people loved both lunches.

Hotels are making a lot of money right now off conferences – charging a lot per day for people to attend an event and be fed.
Carpooling – How do we get there?:
There are some sides that do this like space share but it is not totally easy to do yet and you have to re-enter a profile all the time. How do I put out a carpool request on my blog that will get circulated to the people who are also traveling from my area and might be driving. How can this be managed in ways that don’t overwhelm everyone with my request but just those who might help.

Process – What are the processes we use when we gather?:
The submit, committee select, present model is a bit stale. I have gone to three talks this afternoon and keep thinking tell me something I don’t know yet. If you are going to present get to the point. I am a big believer in the short presentation – we use them at planetwork 5-10 min. Go through your concepts faster cause I get what you are saying.

Some things deserve the full attention of the whole group but only about 1/10th of what they make us give our full attention to.

Examples of this would be Bruce’s talk last night but – give him a lot of time because he has a reputation of killer talks that are engaging. Folks were not doing their e-mail during it they were listening. This morning it was the light table interaction demo (it was super amazing) the there was no typing. As well Linda Stone’s insightful talk about what was coming next after Continuous Partial Attention. Basically she said ‘analogue’ is the new ‘digital’ as jair would say.

There is open space technology, speed geeking, appreciative inquiry lots of different change processes [see Change Handbook]

Ambient Findablity of people:
(I am writing this post in the Ambient Findability presentation)
Help me find the people in this stack of 1,300+ folks that I want to meet and talk to. Who has identity problems that I can help people find the resources in our community? Who is working on socially good tech stuff that would love to know about Planetwork? Can applications like attendr and Hallway help? Can we get investment in these open source tools – if you want you can use the something like $10,000 + $10 a head intronetworks (that I get to use it for PCForum.) That is not accessible.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

SD Forum on Interoperability: Interoperability via Standards

I managed to make it to make it to the SD Forum at TechMart this morning.
I caught the end of Anne Thomas Manes’ talk. Her was her last slide –

Interoperability is the goal
Standards are the solution
Standardization takes time
Vendors typically do the standardization
Venders always pursue their own agenda