Now, I do agree that we need more conferences of this type. We do have them in North America – things like Courion’s Converge, the Internet Identity Workshops and NetPro’s Directory Experts Conference come to mind
This idea was inspired by this comment by Symlabs’ Chief Architect Felix Gaehtgens.
He recently dropped me a note to tell me about a European Identity conference he’d attended, and what he found unique about it. In his own words:
“Last week, I was at the 1st European Identity Conference in Munich. This conference is organized by Kuppinger + Cole, a German Identity Analyst group. We know that a lot of new ID Conferences are springing up, since ID management is a hot topic, and many organizers are trying to cash in on numerous conferences out there. However, this conference had something truly unique.
“So what made this conference stand out? First of all, the scope of the presentations. This was something completely new that I haven’t seen before. Most conferences pitch (exclusively, unfortunately) to the CxOs, management and decision makers, and are therefore kept to the high level. This conference also addressed those needs with overviews, workshops and user/case study presentations. HOWEVER, and this is what I liked about it, this was the first conference (in my opinion) that had a broader scope by also addressing the needs of those techies and geeks that roam these types of conferences.
“There were several presentations and workshops that were very technical and ‘hands-on’, going into the real guts of the technology and implementations. I’ve been to a presentation where a person from a German bank talked about how to integrate Kerberos between Unix and Windows. That presentation was fantastic, and very lively. You could feel the electricity in the air with all those geeks like me talking technology. Then there was a real ‘how-to’ workshop on how to boot-strap the Liberty ID-WSF (Web Services Foundation) using two different implementations using a practical example and showing how everything fits together.”
Many of the Identity Gang / Commons folks I spoke to about the conference said it was really just the same conference they keep going to. Talking heads on the range of identity topics. I would put forward that more conferences with talking heads are not needed but an expansion of conferences with cross cutting themes and industry players that come to the Internet Identity Workshop who – do work together.
[The current conferences are] generally organized around a particular vendor, product or technology rather than as part of a conference covering a broad spectrum of identity. Maybe what we really need is an identity fair (or “identitie faire”) with PowerPoint presentations for those who need them and hands-on labs for those who don’t. Something for everyone, under the big top. Not just a “dog-and-pony” show, but a real three ring circus. Who’ll step up and organize this?
Eugene Kim , Phil and I have been thinking about IIW and how to make improvements for next time. We welcome community input on how to make it better – so write us.
I am very clear that we need to systemically as a community have and execute a strategy to reach out to other pockets of folks explicitly doing “identity” work AND to our neighboring fields like Semantic Technology and get them involved in IIW. I think it was good that the ITU folks joined us at IIW this time. There was a call from the floor for more Lawyers next time. I would love to see some proactive outreach to those technical/professional identity communities who you see should be involved in a ‘faire’ being explicitly invited to IIW.