The Interop Event last week at Burton Group Catalyst was a huge milestone. The event lived up to its name...
cat·a·lyst [kat-l-ist] -noun
A person or thing that precipitates an event or change.
The energy in the room was really high. Everyone was excited. People said there was interest from enterprises (the attendees at the conference who were not vendors) in the technology and how they could help them with identity management.
It was so inspiring after all these years to actually see the vision manifest so concretely. I was at my first 'identity meeting' in June of 2003 when Planetwork hosted an 'extra day' with Identity Commons (1). It was described this way by an attendee:
I attended the "extra" day of the conference today. I was in a session that could have been called: all digital identity, all day and all of the night.
So four years later it was really amazing. As Dick highlighted we are finally up to "the chasm".
As I was there looking at the sign on the wall in the photo and feeling the energy and all the work I really wished that Owen Davis and Andrew Nelson were there to witness it all. Hopefully they can come to the Internet Identity Workshop this December (3-5). The social issues that this new technology raises was one of the main reasons they founded Identity Commons in 2001. These topics are just starting to become really important to deal with and working groups are beginning to emerge. The fact that Cryptographic trust does not equate to Social Trust was highlighted by Neuenschwander in his talk on the final day. (in googling cryptographic trust I came across Chris Allen's essay on Progressive Trust). We still have lots to 'talk about' to get it all figured out (more shared language and understanding to be built - see the last three paragraphs of this post).