Tag Archives: OpenID

New Episode of The Social Web TV: “We’re Back (Really!)”

The fans demanded it, so we got the band back together! Chris Messina, Joseph Smarr, and I shot an episode of The Social Web TV at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View during this week’s Internet Identity Workshop. So much has happened since we last shot that this is our most jam-packed episode ever!

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Photoblogging the Internet Identity Workshop, 11/09

On the heels of the OpenID Summit, we roll into the Fall Internet Identity Workshop. There are folks here from companies large and small, from grass roots effort, and from the government. I may add more color in text over time, but let me get the ball rolling with some photos to capture the event for posterity. It’s photoblogging time again!

Opening Circle:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Joseph Smarr, CTO of Plaxo, shilling for his session:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Angus Logan of Microsoft and Kevin Marks of BT co-lead a session on optimizing the UX for consenting access to data:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Afternoon breakout sessions:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

The “unconference” schedule:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Michael Jones of Microsoft kicks off a session on the prototype browser extension for an Identity Selector:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Chris Messina leads a double-session on Activity Streams (so he gets two photos!):

At the Internet Identity Workshop

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Self-portrait, in the Activity Streams double-live marathon:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Eran Hammer-Lahav of the “Hammer Stack,” bringing lots of spec-development experience to the Activity Streams working session:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

Late afternoon collaboration:

At the Internet Identity Workshop

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From the OpenID Summit: What gets Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Plaxo to work together? OpenID.

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

I spent this afternoon at a great OpenID Summit, hosted by Yahoo, and featuring some of the leading figures in the industry from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Plaxo, AOL, PayPal and others. This was a real working session, with frank sharing of lessons learned from deployments by these companies and active discussion about how to move forward together as rapidly as possible. There is now a *lot* of horsepower being applied to making OpenID part of the core Web experience.

Interesting to note which companies did not have representatives here. (The two most notable: Twitter and LinkedIn, both of which could really play a big role in online identity.)

One highlight was Michael Jones of Microsoft demoing a prototype of an OpenID identity selector browser extension:

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

Here’s Yahoo’s Aanchal Gupta, reviewing all the great progress they’ve been making on improving the OpenID user experience:

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

Here’s Joseph Smarr of Plaxo, who rallied the troops with a combination of hard-hitting analysis of how much work is still to be done, along with an inspiring reminder of how this community has worked so well together to solve problems with solutions like the “Hybrid” of OpenID and OAuth. (Slides and video further down.):

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

And Luke Shepard of Facebook, who explained that Facebook “does OpenID because it’s good for our business”. Luke, like Joseph, shared important feedback from the perspective of a “Relying Party”:

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

Allen Tom of Yahoo and David Recordon of Facebook led the technical breakout after all the presentations, driving toward a list of items to tackle in the next six months. David reminded us that the 2.0 version of the OpenID spec has been out there since 2007.

From the OpenID Summit, 11/02/09

I’ll add more content as it comes in. Here’s the deck Joseph used for his talk, “What an RP Wants, Part II”:

And some video clips from Joseph’s talk:

Update: Joseph got a post up about his talk, with some additional color.

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A glimpse into the future of news, thanks to NYT’s open APIs and Plaxo

TimesPeople feed in Plaxo

As my frequent readers know, I’m a strong believer in the emergence of a Social Web characterized by openness and interoperability, and powered by a virtuous cycle of social discovery. The cycle starts when a visitor to a media site shares content out to one or more their social networks, enabling their friends to discover it, click over to the source site to consume it, and from there to share it (or another piece of content) out to their social networks – starting the next loop of the virtuous cycle.

Enabling that cycle under the hood, will be a common “Open Stack” of technologies (like OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, Activity Streams), which will dramatically lower the cost of integration – a critical requirement to scale from a few distribution partnerships to leveraging discovery across the whole of the Social Web. And I believe that such a virtuous cycle will play an essential role in enabling the newspaper industry to evolve from its print past to its online future, with a viable long-term business model that is native to the Social Web.

That’s why I’m so excited by what was rolled out today by Plaxo, long a champion of the shift from walled gardens to the open Social Web, together with TimesPeople, the forward-leaning social news arm of The New York Times, which has led the way on opening up the industry via its revolutionary combination of free access to content and open APIs.

In recent months, the two have been working together to simplify the task of sharing to one or more social networks. Today, they introduced the first fruit of that collaboration, a TimesPeople “feed” for the Plaxo network, which allows one-click sharing from NYTimes.com over to the Plaxo network. The feature was implemented via the TimesPeople APIs, without the NYTimes.com having to integrate a single line of Plaxo-specific code or even to add a Plaxo logo or link anywhere on the site. (As a result, any other social network or content aggregator could easily replicate the feature.)

TimesPeople members who have hooked up the feed can share a news story with a single click on the “recommend” button next to the article. That’s it. In the background, without any further effort, Plaxo picks up and delivers a content bundle that includes the story’s headline, a snippet of copy, a thumbnail image, and link to the full story.

Other social networks can take advantage of the same API, as well, paving the way for a model in which one click by a reader can promote a story to all of the aggregation services that user shares on.

This stands in stark contrast to the status quo on most media sites. All too often, sharing a piece of content means choosing from a bewildering array of branded links, or a popup UI splattered with dozens of colorful, little Web 2.0 logo icons. Or more recently, it might mean a deeper one-off integration with a single partner. Either way, the media site ends up having to decorate itself with one or more logos – and faces the hard choice of how many and which ones to present to their audience as choices.

Nascar effect

And this “Nascar effect” makes it highly unlikely that a user will make the effort to share content out to more than one of the social networks they use.

Hats off to Derek Gottfrid of TimesPeople and Joseph Smarr of Plaxo, for this great example of Social Web interoperability!

[Reminder/disclosure: Plaxo is my employer (but I try my best to write about it here objectively and only when it is relevant to opening up the Social Web).]

Update: There’s also now a post on NYT’s “Open” blog, Plaxo: The Pulse of TimesPeople. Nice!

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Mainstreaming “open”: David Recordon joins Facebook!

David Recordon

It was first reported by BusinessWeek today, that as part of their step-on-the-gas hiring spree, Facebook has landed one of the most prominent figures in the Open Web movement, David Recordon. David confirmed the report, first via Twitter (after receiving a few congratulations from key players on the Facebook Connect platform team, including Dave Morin and Josh Elman) — and later via a blogpost.

I think this is great news for the emerging Social Web, as this now gives David a chance to cross-pollinate between the grass-roots open-spec world of OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, and the rest of the Open Stack and the mainstream, rapidly growing Facebook platform that is serving over 300 million active users and countless thousands of developers of all sizes.

I hope and believe we can continue to count on David to be a passionate and clear-headed voice on behalf of user rights and the Open Web. And I can’t wait for the next episode of The Social Web TV, where David joins me, Joseph Smarr, and Chris Messina on a frequent basis, to make sense of the evolution toward a more open and interoperable Web.

[Update: gotta love Chris Messina’s post on this!]

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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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The Social Web TV hosts Facebook’s Luke Shepard

On the third morning of the Internet Identity Workshop, Joseph Smarr and I welcomed Facebook’s Luke Shepard on to a special episode of The Social Web TV to discuss the big news of Facebook becoming an OpenID Relying Party.

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Images from Day 2 of IIW

The Internet Identity Workshop is such a special event. Heavy hitters from Facebook, Google, MySpace, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Plaxo, and more, all rolling up their sleeves on the most interesting problems of the emergent Social Web!

Here, with little commentary, my images from Day 2 of the event…

Luke Shepard of Facebook and George Fletcher of AOL led a multi-faceted session on the issues of being an OpenID Relying Party:

Session on OpenID RP Lessons Learned

Session on OpenID RP Lessons Learned

Angus Logan of Microsoft led a great session on a more scalable approach to letting developers register for API keys:

Angus Logan of Microsoft

Session on API Sign Ups

Session on API Sign Ups

From a highly productive session on Activity Streams:

Activity Streams

The afternoon demo session:



Two towering figures in the space: Joseph Smarr of Plaxo and Luke Shepard of Facebook. These guys are pushing the envelope, fighting the good fight, showing what’s possible with OpenID (as a Relying Party), and helping the whole industry work through the issues.

Joseph Smarr and Luke Shepard

Joseph Smarr and Luke Shepard

Here’s to another great IIW!

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From Day One of the Internet Identity Workshop

The past six months have flown by, and it is once again time for the semi-annual Internet Identity Workshop (IIW). I’ll post impressions and photos here from time to time throughout the day.

The "Real McCrea"

I had the honor of joining David Recordon and Chris Messina for an opening session on main stage, covering OpenID and other technologies of the Social Web. Here’s the presentation we used to structure our chat. It was almost the “Social Web TV” live!

On stage with Chris Messina and David Redordon

Here’s the view from the stage:

View from the stage

The second session was on Information Cards, led by Reed Drummond:

Reed Drummond on Information Cards

The last of the morning sessions is Doc Searls on Vendor Relationship Management (VRM), which turns CRM on its head. Great stuff. You can’t and shouldn’t “own your customer”. Doc asks, “What’s another word for owning a human being?”

Doc Searls on VRM

Doc Searls on VRM

After lunch, we reconvened, this time in a three ring circle. About to begin the scheduling of the “unconference”.

 IIW Opening Circle

 IIW Opening Circle

Here are the key concepts behind the “unconference” model:

Principles of Open Space

Some of the afternoon sessions:

Some of the afternoon sessions

In the thick of it: Sitting with Luke Shepard of Facebook (big news of today, as they became the largest OpenID Relying Party). Folks around us include Angus Logan of Microsoft and Dirk Balfanz and Breno de Medieros from Google.

In the thick of it

Sessions in Rooms E, F, and G:

Breakout rooms E, F, and G

And here’s my post on Day Two.

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Photos from the “Birth of the Social Web” at Facebook This Evening

Wow! I am damn near speechless after an amazing evening at the Facebook “Technology Tasting,” for the launch of the new Open Stream API and the announcement that Facebook will soon be an OpenID Relying Party. Today really marks the birth of the Social Web. If you’d like to know my coherent thoughts, at least on the Plaxo integration I was involved in, see my official post on the Plaxo blog:

At Plaxo, we believe we’re on the cusp of a major transformation – the biggest change to the Internet since the birth of the Web 15 years ago – as the Web goes social, and the Social Web goes open. For that dream to be realized, we need to address the pain currently associated with using multiple social websites. We need true interoperability and true data portability, with users in control.

Today, together with our friends at Facebook, we are excited to deliver on that promise, with the roll out of an integration of Facebook Connect that demonstrates an unprecedented level of interoperability between two social networks (while preserving fine-grained control of privacy).

But here, for posterity, let me share some visual impressions of this historic event, via some photos I snapped from my front row seat at the action. 🙂

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Dave Morin
Dave Morin, Facebook

Chris Messina
Chris Messina, Vidoop, OpenID Foundation, Citizen Space, and DiSo Project

Robert Scoble
Robert Scoble, blogger, early adopter and Jason Kincaid, TechCrunch
(be sure to check out Jason’s video of the event)

Joseph Smarr

Joseph Smarr
Joseph Smarr, Plaxo, OpenID Foundation, OpenSocial Foundation

Luke Shepard
Luke Shepard, Facebook and OpenID Foundation

David Recordon
David Recordon, Six Apart and OpenID Foundation

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