Facebook joins OpenID Board

Facebook joins OpenID board – with commitment to improved user experience.

It is our hope that we can take the success of Facebook Connect and work together with the community to build easy-to-use, safe, open and secure distributed identity frameworks for use across the Web. As a next step in that effort, we will be hosting an OpenID Design Summit next week here at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto.

I am not sure what to think about this. I had a post in the works called “facebook must be stopped” because if the NakedJen incident last week and the kicking off a developer who had to many friends. I am not convinced that Facebook isn’t the borg.

User expericne is a good thing to improve – however the containers in which people are using the technology – the companies that have the power over the networks, their policies and practices – their power to ‘be god’ in the spaces the host online that needs to be looked at too.

The power and potential of OpenID was that ANYONE with a domain name could use it – now it seems more and more like just the big “brands” silo’s are making it work for them and well maybe if you are a super hacker you could do your own (but we won’t “trust” you). I am worried that the movement seems to be moving away from empowering everyone with a blog or even those without “blogs” establishing their own node in the the network.

People need the power to have their OWN nodes on the network and link them together sharing information – on their terms (See bob Blakley’s relationship layer paper). If we are locked into proprietary silo’s they have to much control. I think a big vision needs to be painted and built to much faster a truly open social network framework. I hope we can have a way for developers to commit to a values based choice about how they will conduct themselves in terms of users having power and control over their own online lives – in relationship with other.

I have several critiques of facebook the ability to organize communities and groups is really aweful – (I just tried doing She’s Geeky with it – ended up messaging people up to 4 times – In She’s Geeky FB group, In event specific group, in my last years attendee e-mail list, in my signed up for this year e-mail list). The ability for me to manage my public yet different persona’s for different audiences is completely lacking (my kindergarten friends don’t care about my identity work, my identity friends don’t care that much about my facilitator work, my water polo friends might want an occasional personal update).

Maybe I am wrong – my fears will be unfounded. I am glad they are joining the conversation more explicitly.

From Naked Jen’s Blog:

Facebook obliterated Nakedjen.

Obliterated. Deleted. Made me disappear.

And they did it without any warning or even a simple email telling me that I had done something wrong.

My email to them asking what I might have done to cause such a brutal outcome was just met with an automatic reply telling me that I must be in violation of the TOS and to read it carefully.

Which I did. Every single word. Carefully. There is absolutely no term or stipulation that I even came close to violating other than that my name is Nakedjen. However, as I mentioned, that is MY name. And it has been my name on Facebook since day one. The email that I used for the service is even nakedjen@nakedjen.com Could I be more clear or obvious? I don’t think so.

What I also learned, while reading each and every word carefully, is that my account on Facebook is at will and can be terminated by Facebook at any time for any reason they deem “reasonable.” Basically, our accounts are being hosted for free on their servers. So this actually does make sense. If someone in their offices wakes up today and decides that the word Naked is pornographic or even just decides that my photo of Buddha wearing a ski cap is offensive, that person can just hit the delete button and bye bye Nakedjen.

From Scoble’s Blog:

OK, I’m on the phone with Joel Comm right now. He’s been doing business online since 1995. He’s the co-creator of Yahoo Games. He wrote the Adsense Code, which got onto New York Times best selling list. He hosted and produced the first Internet reality show called the Next Internet Millionaire. He was the guy who came up with iFart, which got to be the #1 iPhone app on the iTunes store for three weeks. He also has “Twitter Power,” a book about Twitter coming out next month. You can find Joel on Twitter here.

Translation: he’s not a “nobody” on the Internet who is a spammer.

But, Facebook had a problem with him and kicked him off. Just like Facebook did to me just about a year ago. Why did this happen?

Well, he like me, has 4,999 friends which is the maximum allowed by Facebook. That’s not what got him in trouble. “So, Scoble, why you writing about him?”

Here’s why: he has 900 people who want to be his friend on Facebook. So, since he can’t add them to his social graph he sends them an a nice individual note, customized each time. He would look at each person’s profile and send them a nice note. What did the notes say? Something like “nice seeing you at XYZ conference, I can’t add you as a friend because Facebook doesn’t let me add more than 4,999 friends so could you please join me over on my fan page?” Sometimes also he’d send them over to his book page, or his Twitter page. Again, he customized each message to the person who was asking. Nothing automatic.

But yesterday Facebook disabled his account and removed his account from the public social graph. “I am the invisible man.” Facebook did exactly the same thing to me a year ago.

You still can get to his fan page, but he can’t administer it any longer (he has 734 fans). He also has a group on Facebook, which has more than 2,000 members. Fifty people have already joined a group to petition to have Joel added back to Facebook.


  1. says

    now it seems more and more like just the big “brands” silo’s are making it work for them and well maybe if you are a super hacker you could do your own

    This is precisely where the DiSo Project fits in. Whereas most of the parties at the table are large corporations, we’re a bit unique in that we represent the idea of participating in the social web as a first class citizen, but running everything entirely from your own domain. And I can tell you that everyone I’ve spoken with completely understands and agrees with this notion — that you shouldn’t have to participate from one of the big silos.

    While development on DiSo is slower than we’d like, we are making headway on a number of WordPress plugins, and should even see some of this technology (specifically OAuth) make its way into WordPress core in the future. Six Apart is also making tremendous strides in making a number of these technologies available in MovableType.

    So I wouldn’t worry too terribly much about the little guy getting locked out.


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