Tag Archives: josephsmarr

Must See Web TV: Joseph Smarr’s “The Social Web: An Implementer’s Guide”

Late last month, Google hosted their annual developer gathering, Google I/O, in San Francisco. Among the many interesting talks was one by Joseph Smarr, Plaxo’s Chief Platform Artchitect, someone involved deeply in all the aspects of the Open Stack. If you want to understand what’s going on in the emerging Social Web, you have to watch his talk, entitled “The Social Web: An Implementer’s Guide.”

Joseph explains how you can now leverage technologies for openness and interoperability to:

– Streamline your sign up flow
– Put an end to “re-friend madness”
– Kill the “password anti-pattern”
– Ride the “virtuous cycle”

His talk includes several demos. Check it out:

Alternatively, you can access the slides over at Joseph’s blog.

To quote Joseph, “The web is now social. And the Social Web is now open.”

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Surviving & Thriving in the Online Identity Wars: Joseph Smarr at Web 2.0 Expo

Joseph Smarr at Web 2.0 Expo Joseph Smarr at Web 2.0 Expo Joseph Smarr at Web 2.0 Expo Joseph Smarr at Web 2.0 Expo

At the recent Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, Joseph Smarr, Plaxo’s Chief Platform Architect, took the stage with an all-new presentation, entitled “Surviving (and Thriving in) the Online Identity Wars”. As usual, he rocked it! Alas, the talk was scheduled for 8:30 in the morning, which meant that even if you were at the conference, you might still have missed it. So, this post is for everyone around the world who wished they could have been there.

Putting this into perspective: A year ago at Web 2.0 Expo, Joseph introduced the concepts of a “Social Web ecosystem” (with Identity Providers, Social Graph Providers, and Webwide Aggregators), fueling a “virtuous cycle” of social content/site discovery. And six months ago, at Web 2.0 Expo in New York, Joseph coined the term “Open Stack,” to refer to the combination of OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, XRD, and OpenSocial, asserting that this collection of “small parts, loosely joined” is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

In this new talk, Joseph gives guidance to sites on how to survive and thrive in the sea change of the opening up of the Social Web. I recommend everyone check out his specific “do’s” and “don’ts”…

Video of the talk (part one)

Video of the talk (part two)

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Happy Holidays from The Social Web TV

This episode went up over the weekend over at The Social Web TV. After many weeks of travel, Chris Messina is back, joining me and Joseph Smarr for our first year-end holiday show. You can see me develop off the top of my head some of my bold predictions for 2009.

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For Posterity: The First-Ever “Open Stack” Meetup

I’m just back from a great evening in San Francisco for the first ever Open Stack Meetup, put together by David Recordon of SixApart and Joe Stump of Digg, and hosted at Digg. I had the honor of kicking off this historic event with a keynote on the Open Stack, as a whole greater than the sum of its parts. [Update: Video of my keynote is now online.]

The godfather of open, Marc Canter reports that there were about 100 people there, and I totally agree with him that “Joseph Smarr just kicked ass”. There was a mix of vision, description, and demo, and it all came off pretty well (given how little coordinated planning was involved). Plus, we gave out a cool new t-shirt that said, “I hack on the Open Stack”.

Here are a few photos I took. We’ll follow it up with video on The Social Web TV.

Eran Hammer at the Open Stack Meetup

David Recordon at the Open Stack Meetup

David Recordon at the Open Stack Meetup

Allen Tom at the Open Stack Meetup

Kevin Marks at the Open Stack Meetup

Kevin Marks at the Open Stack Meetup

Joseph Smarr at Open Stack Meetup

Joseph Smarr at Open Stack Meetup

Joseph Smarr at Open Stack Meetup

Joseph Smarr at Open Stack Meetup

Joseph Smarr at Open Stack Meetup

Joseph Smarr at Open Stack Meetup

Chris Messina at Open Stack Meetup

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Yahoo and AOL Enhancing OpenID with Data Portability via the “Simple Registration” Extension

As many of my readers know, the user experience (UX) for OpenID has been a source of confusion and an impediment to broader adoption. That gave rise to an OpenID UX Summit a few weeks ago, hosted by Yahoo and attended by Google, Microsoft, MySpace, AOL, Plaxo, Facebook and many others. It also was a major focus of sessions and late-night discussion at last week’s Internet Identity Workshop. Today, we get to see some of the fruits of those efforts, as Yahoo rolls out (in a limited test) a new implementation of OpenID, currently live with just two test sites, Plaxo and Jyte; and AOL releases preview support for data portability via SREG.

Yahoo’s post describes the details:

Today, we are announcing the start of a limited test of the Simple Registration extension for the Yahoo! OpenID service. The Simple Registration extension allows OpenID RPs to request user profile data from the OpenID provider. Yahoo! will be providing Yahoo! OpenID users the ability to share the following Simple Registration fields for this initial test: Full Name, Nick Name, Email Address, Gender, Language and Timezone. The Yahoo! OpenID user will have full control on whether to share their profile data with the OpenID relying party. We will use the Yahoo! Profiles API to populate the user card which will be presented on the Yahoo! OpenID Review and Confirm page.

Joseph Smarr of Plaxo also has a post on the matter, including screenshots of the improved onboarding flow. As Joseph points out, this is really something bigger than single sign-on; the key is that the identity can bring with it, at the user’s option, some of their social data. This is an important step forward for data portability:

I think we can continue to expect more and more data to flow across the OpenID link, which will make it increasingly valuable for Relying Parties like Plaxo, and should incentivize many more sites to become RPs themselves. It’s great to see this virtuous cycle in motion, and Plaxo is eager to work with any and all OpenID Providers who want to improve their UX and empower their users to use more of their data across the web!

So, if you don’t have a Plaxo account yet, you can sign up for one with your Yahoo OpenID. If you choose to share your basic account info, you’ll land on a registration form that is pre-populated with with almost every field you need to activate your account. You only need to add your birthday and your country. (In a future release, we hope to get those last two fields as well, so we can do away with the form entirely.) Oh, and the user’s language choice will come along, too, so we can drop them into the appropriate localized version of Plaxo. Sweet!

George Fletcher of AOL also has a post on the AOL and SREG, entitled “OAuth and SREG and MapQuest! Oh My!” I’m still trying to figure out where I can go see the AOL OpenID w/ SREG live. Any pointers, anyone?

It’s great to see the pace of innovation on the Open Stack begin to accelerate.

For more on Yahoo’s test release, we made it the primary topic of this week’s episode of The Social Web TV, complete with a “magical” demo. (We didn’t know about the AOL news when we shot!):

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Smarr and Engel on the Open Stack, Part Two

Here’s more from the Open Stack breakout at yesterday’s first birthday event for OpenSocial, led by Plaxo’s Joseph Smarr and MySpace’s Max Engel. Joseph demos all sorts of interoperability made possible by the combination of OpenID, XRDS-Simple, OAuth, Portable Contacts, and OpenSocial.

And here’s Part One, in case you missed it.

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Happy Birthday, OpenSocial!

There is so much “opening up” going on that we needed to do two shows this week for The Social Web TV! The second episode of our “double header” series is now up, one that we shot yesterday at the OpenSocial First Birthday event in San Francisco, hosted by MySpace. David Recordon, Joseph Smarr, and I were fortunate to have David Glazer of Google and the OpenSocial Foundation on a special guest. Happy birthday, OpenSocial!

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OpenSocial Birthday, Open Stack and the Smarr and Engel Show

The first of my videos from today’s anniversary event for OpenSocial is now up. The following segment was recorded late in the day at a breakout session led by Plaxo’s Joseph Smarr and MySpace’s Max Engel. Joseph and Max did a great tag-team discussion on the new “Open Stack” and how it can take us beyond the widget phase of social apps to the emerging world of the Social Web. The videos include several live demos that string together open spec building blocks, inlcuding OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, XRDS-Simple, and the OpenSocial RESTful APIs.

I was so impressed with Joseph and Max, that I really want to encourage them to work up a longer tutorial session that we can share with the world via video. If you have interest in how the Open Stack will bring about the open Social Web, you’ll definitely enjoy the following two clips. (Clip two to follow once it’s encoded on Viddler.)


Part I

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From the OpenSocial First Birthday Event

I’m in San Francisco at the OpenSocial First Birthday event, hosted by MySpace. I’m capturing video a, which I hope to upload later today or tonight. In the meantime, I’ll share photos along the way. Looks like there are a couple hundred folks here.

In just over a year, OpenSocial has achieved a reach of over 600 million potential users. There have been over 300 million app installs. And sites like MySpace and Hi5 are signing the praises of this new platform, and along with many others, contributing to make it more robust.

Part of the crowd for the OpenSocial Birthday event
The Audience Awaits

David Glazer of Google presenting
Google’s David Glazer Reviews an Amazing First Year

Lane LiaBraaten of Google on the Community
Lane LiaBraaten of Google Talks about the Community

Joseph Smarr of Plaxo was just introduced, as a slide that many have come to love is being projected on the big screen. It’s the “new open stack” slide, that shows OpenSocial as part of a larger open ecosystem, together with OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, and XRDS-Simple.

A New Open Stack is Emerging
A New Open Stack is Emerging

Joseph Smarr of Plaxo, now on the OpenSocial Board
Joseph Smarr of Plaxo Talks about Where We Go from Here

Okay. All for now. More later!

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On location at the Internet Identity Workshop

We just uploaded a special episode of The Social Web TV, shot on location at the Internet Identity Workshop at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Special guests include Max Engel of MySpace, Eran Hammer of Yahoo, Dick Hardt of Sxipper, Paul Trevithick of Parity, and Doc Searls of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. I think you’ll agree that this is a “magical” episode!

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