If it weren’t for flickr…

I am at Mix06 and it seems that I missed a Vegas moment at the show. This relates to my experience this morning I was treated to women serving men cocktails while gambling in the lobby of the conference hotel and my hotel wearing nothing but bathing suits with skirts. Perhaps this was in jest. None the less I still wonder why the need to bring out a woman in such an outfit when there are so few of us actually in the audience and it just reinforces less then ideal objectified frames around around female sexuality.

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After you confirm who you are, you may log in.

This is the message that I got today when I logged into a new collaborative atlas site Platial.

Thank you, we have sent you an email to confirm you are you. After you confirm who you are, you may log in.

All sending you an e-mail and clicking on a link does is prove that you own that e-mail address.

User-centric services have for UUID’s (universally Unique identifier) linked to real people. I had a conversation with one of the lead technical people on this project and they are in a bit of a bind without being able to access third party identity servers. They don’t want to ask people for their login to Yahoo, MSN, Flickr etc. but services like Mobido do this and (young) people give them to use.

There now doubt in my mind there is a market need for these services.

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Marc, EndUsers CARE!

Marc Canter’s Law #1 has been published.

Canter’s Law #1:
– It is not a bad thing to make everyone happy. It sometimes requires compromises, but at the end of the day – by getting around the format Wars – we all benefit.

– So though we understand that having too many formats may confuse or muddy the waters – it won’t be muddy to the constituents of each format. Most developers will adhere to ONE philosophy and the others – will appreciate support for all.

– See Flickr

No human cares about what format is supported. Only us. Flickr proved that they could be completely format agnostic and provide a compelling experience to all.

Phil’s take on it...

– To make someone happy, you’ve got to support their format. To make everyone happy, you’ve got to support everyone’s formats.

– There are always going to be more formats than you want. Get over it.

All of this is very conciliatory to ‘technologist’s and their preferred file schema’s and file formats. I have no idea what the difference is between ATOM and RSS and RDF and I don’t really care they all work in my Aggreagator in basically the same way.

I am not sure if Marc is referring to ‘making everyone happy’ in the identity space but I believe that he is based on past comments and the assertion that GoingOn will use all the protocols. (DataTao also says they will support them all too)

In Identity land are not just dealing with file formats. We are dealing with user-centric identity. Let me spell it out for you E N D U S E R S and user experience.

You may support in your identity hub all the formats… XRI – i-names | SXIP – guppies | LID – Personal URL | OpenID URL | {how these two fathom that end users will start to login using a URL after inserting some ‘key’ in the back of their blog/site is beyond me}Passel e-mail of choice and on and on…….

Do you not think all this choice confuses END USERS to the point they will not adopt anything until there is one simple easy to understand way this user centric interop identity system works? Remember some of the folks using this system in the not to distant future will be functionally illiterate.

I basically agree with bob’s point.

But, if you focus too much on making some geek happy, the result will NOT be the “Right Thing” from the users’ point of view. Making one or two geeks happy is not the Right Thing if it means compromising on how well users’ needs are addressed. There are many more users than there are geeks. We need to be driven by a drive to service our users’ needs — not by the egos of geeks and coders.

Mary Hodder had this to say about the identity standards discernment and why it was SO key we figure it out inside our community before ‘going live’ and asking sites and users to adopt.

When I tell people about the identity systems being built, they look at me (sort of horrified) like they have absolutely no intention of ever using such a thing, and so i explain the benefits: single sign on, user control over how far the info goes, not having to give an email address in order to sign up for one or another services, which may reveal more info than you want to, and trust and reputation. At that point they are skeptical, but they usually say that if the single sign-on thing were fixed, and if they had total control over where their information went and how far, they ‘might’ use it.

So I mentioned this to the developer of the system I was testing, and he said that he was using his own protocol.. because ‘everyone else was doing it.’ When I asked why, he said ‘because I want to win’ which i really found very disturbing. He said the other protocol makers were all doing the same thing: ‘wanting to win’ and creating systems based upon their own protocols, so that users would not be able to take their identities from one place to the next.

To me this entirely defeats the purpose of the identity gang, and will be incredibly frustrating to users. More so that email, a personal digital identity representation will be a very personal and emotional thing for users, if it is usable all over and they see it as something that represents themselves because they use it to represent themselves. If not, users will say, what is the difference? Why change to an ID based system (insert ID protocol here: sxip, openID, iName, lid, etc) when it can only be used at one company, or with one set of services. It’s the same thing we have now as far as user’s experiences are concerned, with multiple sign ons.

I think competing based on different protocols is ridiculous and will not help anyone, least of all users. And with users frustrated, you will not get adoption that will really make ID service based businesses take off.

I think people will blog about these multiple proprietary protocols, saying that people should hold off or not play, until this gets worked out and the people developing systems create a single protocol that is open and freely movable.

I’m concerned about using our time constructively in the identity gang to create this single protocol so that we are then competing over services and interesting systems. Are we all on the same page here.. or is this developer right that we are all making different protocols (sort of in secret) to compete at that level?

Catalyst: SSO Simple Secure and Open – Dick on Identity .20

Dick – had a 580 slide deck done Lessig Style
This is a summary of his talk:

We found out about Dick’s Identity

We learned a about what Identity is

What I say about me
What other say about me (others trust this)
What others say about you
We learned about Identity Transactions:
Verbal in person (with visual cues)
Talk on phone (loss of visual cues)
Job Application (fill out form)

We learned about data verification using drivers licenses in the real world and how the process reduces Identity Friction.
Identity Transactions are Asymmetrical
There is separation of the acquisition and presentation of credential
The credential is reusable
Trust is social

What is digital identity?

Identity 1.0 Today

Today it is the hassel of filling out the same information again and again.
Basically today authentication is that you get to prove you are an entry in a directory entry. single authority on one credential – not portable – in silo.

Verified digital Identity is not what you give a site today.
e-bay -/-> Craigslist
We have walled gardens

Identity 2.0 is where the user can move it to any site.

Simple and open has a history of winning in new standards look at:

  • networking
  • e-mail
  • web – html

Identity Credential exchange is transparent transaction that is scalable.

users? – to many user names and passwords

won’t pay – little influence

enterprise? – partners, contracts, agents

but risky to lead… can’t get there
Identity 1.5



but localized


motivated to solve
theoretical trust relationship

Identity Ecosystem will emerge where

users are loosely coupled
share user identity

We are in a new era

Webservices – Flickr, Mappr, SalesForce

Web 2.0 will drive identity 2.0

It will happen on the edge of the Internet (not the edge of the enterprise).

XRI/XDI no web-service apps


name/value pairs

The goal is to mimic photo ID
With Sxip Network

SXIP 1.0 has had a few tire kickers

SXORE Blog comment spam solution

SXIP 2.0 support web services
SSO – Simple Secure and Open

Jamie Lewis –
Q: So will this go into a STANDARDS PROCESS?
A: We are working on it. We want to get it very close to right then put it into standards body. I like IETF. Our goal is to be open

Creating Spaces for Innovation and Conversation

I have just gotten back into the swing of things – reading all the blogs I should be etc. I am starting off where I put things down about two months ago (I have 4000+ posts to scan/read in my identity streams folder).

Reading this post by Mary I remember the citizens jouranlism day that was less then ideal. The whole event got me thinking about the art and skill involved in creating good containers for people to gather in. The day was a disaster on a bunch of levels.

  1. First of all there was no clear map to get to the location. After we arrived Mary and I made a sign out of a paper bag to make sure others coming after us would actually know where to turn in.
  2. It was summer in SF at the Precido – for those of you who don’t know that means it will likely be very cold, windy and foggy. People were not warmed of this and so basically everyone was freezing.
  3. This was a meeting about internet citizen journalism – I had assumed we would be meeting in a building with wifi – not the case.
  4. When one calls an event and it has a start time – it is good for the host to actually show up prior to that time to welcome folks. Our host that day arrived an hour late and got to saying hello to everyone at 1.5 hours after the stated start time.
  5. It is good to feed people at events – so there was some effort made in this direction – hotdogs and hambergers. No one was really organized to actually cook the food. Two of the women who were just there to participate ended up taking the lead in preparing food. They had not volunteered for this role before hand but no one was doing it so they stepped in and cooked.
  6. After introductions concluded we all moved down to the internet archive – this was a packed room and 30+ people were trying to have one conversation. We were all looking to the organizers for some structure to the conversation – none was really provided.
  7. I am told that after I left the conversation did get better.

I am not writing this to be purely critical but to highlight some real world examples of the challenges that aries when organizing in person event. Consciousness about how to bring people together could be further cultivated in this community. 40 amazing people were asked to and willingly volunteered 6 hours of their time on a SUNDAY to join this discussion. More attention and for thought could have been given to the container created.

This metaphor of the container is one that comes from my work in spiritual activism. How are you going to honor peoples time and the gifts they are bringing to what ever purpose you have. This container involves the whole of the event:

  • the initial intention
  • who is included in manifesting the intention
  • who is invited
  • choice of process and facilitation
  • proposed goals outcomes
  • the physical aspects of the event –
  • Location – inside/outside – bigroom/lots of small rooms – bathrooms or not
  • nourishment needs (food and drink)

The creation of a strong community container is one of the keys to success for online worlds too. Claire from SUN has this post referencing Caterina Fake about how they (FLICKR) focused (and continue to focus) very strongly on the container of community. This positive field of feedback has drawn energy towards them.

People are more likely to work well together well not only when they have a common interest or shared set of goals – but also when there is a personal connection. I try to work well with most people, but I’m much more motivated to to cut people slack when I know a little bit about who they are, when I can tease them about their taste in a band called FloggingMolly, when I know that they like to delve into 1337 5p34k on occasion, or if I know that her talented brother went to RISD and is friends with the infamous creator of of Andre The Giant Has A Posse.

Caterina Fake of Flickr fame recently blogged about building a flickricious sense of community (gotta love that word) – and the importance of personal connections caught my eye. One relevant quote from Caterina – the part about personal – and authentic – communication is at the end of the paragraph:

“In the beginning, the creators of the community space have to create the tone and attitude of the place, set the parameters of what is and what is not allowed, and participate heavily, engaging directly with other people, mercilessly kicking/banning trolls, creating a real sense of there being a there there. Friendster, and the banning of “Fakesters” is often used as an example of a misunderstanding of online community — but I think this misunderstanding went back further, to the beginning. I was an early member of Friendster and, the first message I got was from the founder. “How do you like the service?” he asked, and not — and this is really the crux of it — “Pynchon! Man, how can you read that stuff! DeLillo is 10X better.” or “ZEPPELIN ROX! Zoso is my favorite album!!!” I’d filled out a profile. See what I mean?”

What’s the conclusion? Growing the OpenSolaris community is going to involve building lots of these personal connections. Personal and authentic, not stiff and corporate. Cool.

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