Tag Archives: joseph smarr

Day One at Supernova

 Opening Session

Up in SF with Joseph Smarr at the first day of Supernova. Great gathering. Vibrant hallway conversations. 

Not surprisingly, a very thoughtful presentation by Clay Shirky. Here’s a nice writeup by Dan Farber of CNET.

Best of show (so far) was the talk a few minutes ago by Google’s Joe Kraus. Great to hear his spin on a topic that I write about all the time — the transition from social networks to the Social Web. Among other things, he showed off Google Friend Connect, including showing the controversial ui that shows import from Facebook as feature currently “Disabled by Facebook”!

Joe Kraus showing Google Friend Connect

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has a writeup that includes live video. I highly recommend it. Joe is a great public speaker and is a great spokeperson for opening up the Social Web.


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OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, Oh My! Joseph Smarr at Google IO

I’m back from two days at the Google IO developer conference in San Francisco. Lots of great sessions in the “hallway track,” with plenty of productive discussions around moving the ball forward on open standards for the Social Web. Great chats with David Recordon, Chris Messina, and many other luminaries. And, not surprisingly, I also attended the talk by Joseph Smarr of Plaxo. It was standing room only, and Joseph did a tour-de-force presentation that explained all the key building blocks and how they fit together. He even teased the crowd with a little insight into an interesting project that’s creating an open spec for secure exchange of address book and friends list data. Listen for it toward the end of the clip above. His talk got a great round of applause, as well as some nice tweets.

Here are a few of my pics from his animated speech. Is it me, or does he look like a young Bill Gates conducting a symphony orchestra?

Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008


Joseph’s put his presentation up over at his blog.

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Three “Data Portability” Related Events for Your Calendar

IIW 2008


The last year has been an amazing time for building momentum for the emergence of the Social Web. We’ve seen the “open” and “data portability” memes move from the periphery to the core, picked up by Plaxo, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Facebook, among many others. We’ve seen major advances in the embrace of open standards, including OpenID, OAuth, and microformats. And we’re also beginning to see a swell of public awareness and the stirrings of demand for users to have ownership and control of their data, and the freedom to take it with them, wherever they go.

So where do we go from here? And how can you jump in an help turn the vision into reality? My recommendation would be to add one, two, or even all three of the following events to your calendar:

Data Sharing Workshop, April 18 – 19 at the SFSU, Downtown Campus

Internet Identity Workshop 2008, May 12-14, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

Data Sharing Summit, May 15, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

Here’s a link for registration for Data Sharing Workshop and Data Sharing Summit.


Great things have happened at previous versions of these influential grass-roots events. Joseph Smarr, Marc Canter, Robert Scoble, and Michael Arrington co-authored the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web for debut at the Data Sharing Summit, where the document generated vibrant discussion, conceptual buy-in from some of the biggest companies on the Internet, and a ton of signatures from the people who are working on the building blocks of data portability and the Social Web.

Bill of Rights

And to be clear, these are not stiff, formal, traditional conferences. They are all highly collaborative events, with no one setting the agenda except the interesting people who show up. I advise you to become a part of them if you are passionate about bringing about the open Social Web!

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The “Pulse of OpenID”

Here’s an excellent resource for getting a sense of what’s currently possible with OpenID. It’s a post from Sara Perez on ReadWriteWeb, with a breathtaking list of OpenID providers and “relying parties” (sites where you can use your OpenID).

While the skeptics remain, it is clear that there has been growing momentum for this critical building block of the Social Web, especially in the past few months.

I’d also recommend tapping into the wisdom of Joseph Smarr, who is both a passionate advocate of OpenID and an early implementer, as Plaxo’s chief platform architect. Plaxo rolled out support for OpenID late last year, becoming one of the first large-scale consumer sites to accept OpenID. And most recently, Joseph worked with Yahoo! on their implmentation, allowing users to log in to Plaxo with their Yahoo! credentials (using OpenID behind the scenes). Here’s an interview I did with him on the day of that announcement. It’s a good intro to the topic:

For developers with an interest in implementing OpenID, I recommend Joseph’s “A Recipe for OpenID-Enabling Your Site.” 

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Making OpenID Consumer-Friendly: Behind the Scenes

Integrating Clickpass and Plaxo

 I enjoyed reading detailed writeups of the collaboration between Clickpass and Plaxo to launch a consumer-friendly implemenation of OpenID. Peter Nixey, of Clickpass, (above, right) published his here. And Plaxo’s Joseph Smarr (above, left) has his post here.

These two pieces provide great insight into the launch of a company. Every entrepreneur will enjoy the read.

One addition to the story from my perspective: Joseph writes code even faster than he talks (and if you don’t know what that means, watch this clip from SXSW!)

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More from the Portable Social Networks Panel at SXSW

Sorry it’s taken me so long to upload this additional clip. Here Joseph Smarr of Plaxo helps make that case that “open” is good for business — that rather than being a zero-sum game best played by protecting user lock-in, we are all better offer going after the growing pie!

And, yes, Joseph actually talks that fast; the tape is not sped up. In fact, there was no tape. I recorded it on my MPEG-4 camcorder from Sanyo.

There’s a nice writeup of the panel over at ReadWriteWeb.

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