I am not going to do a “top ten list” – not really my style. I tend to take things as they are and appreciate the amazing, wonderful, mysterious, sensuous, intellectually stimulating but don’t “compare” in a sort of ordered list way. So just so there is clarity on the number of things I mention I will “number” them but this is NOT a top ten list – I wrote this post as a reflection without thought to order.
This morning while swimming I got to reflecting about the year in identity and it did seem appropriate to share some of them.
(un1) Bob’s Relationship paper (that I hope Burton Group will release into the world) was put forward in draft form at IIW#7 (2008a) and the Data Sharing Summit in May. It framed the problem of identity and articulated some missing pieces to the puzzle we are solving – supporting an identity layer emerge. He high lighted the fact that identity happens in the context of relationship and finding ways to document the terms and conditions in a relationship – making the relationship itself its own node and not just a line in a social graph. Since the paper is mostly been available to enterprise clients of the Burton Group and some folks in the identity community this missing piece – the node of relationship itself has not been taken up. I am hopeful it will emerge. I think some of what the Higgins project is proposing as an R-Card – a place to co-manage relationship data between two parties in a transaction could for fill this.
Update: I spoke with Bob since this post and Burton will be releasing this paper in Q1.
(un2) Facebook’s emergence as the dominant social networking service and this being the anti-pattern that the communities that I have been participating in for 6 years now had articulated was a danger that needed to be addressed preemptively with open standards that worked between silo’s.
(un3) Related to this – I am remember that summer at the invitational gathering at Hollyhock (a retreat center in Canada I love and I became the accidental poster child for) I got to meet with colleagues who lead workshops there some of whom I have known for years. They knew I was into the web and social things there – “digital identity” but this year they “got” more of what I was talking about. The reason was because of issues they themselves had – one had pictures and e-mails and other things the community had put forward around someone’s life threatening illness. They found they couldn’t get the data out. … it wasn’t there. People informally in conversations I overheard were kinda freeked out by the service (you need to remember that in Canada Facebook has incredibly high penetration into the lives of “normal” folks about 40% of all Canadians are on it – so more normal folks then in the US).
So back to the open standards working between sites – putting at least doors between walled gardens – it seems that finding the agreement and finding adoption of such open standards is difficult – or perhaps more to the point it is not a “high business priority” – it is easy to have a big network just grow and become the default. I think the efforts of the open stack community are noble and I hope they succeed. I also think they need to address some of the things that facebook messes up. These include mushing all my worlds together- (water polo from when I was in highschool, kindergarten class at school, water polo from college, water polo from the national team, highschool, elementary school 1, elementary school too, my process facilitator community, the identity community, the all the worlds I am in they are all FLAT – my social reality isn’t flat. People and the topics I am interested in at any one time come closer and go out father. I have divers interests and everyone I know is not interested in everything I do. I know this. I am not trying to “hide” anything or “be secret” I just want to respect the attention of my friends. I hope this nuanced social understanding can be grasped by someone building these tools. It is not that complex.
It may be that this kind of nuance will show up in smart clients. I am hopeful that this year there will be at least one for twitter. (I want to have two kinds of twitter friends – the ones that I read ALL their tweets (scrolling back to see what happened when I was not online) and those that i will watch passively when I happen to be online too.
(un4) TWITTER really broke on to the scene this year. I started tweeting because of Phil Windley’s comment about how it got him connected to his remote team – as a water cooler replacement – to know what they were up to in daily life (I had had an account for about a year before but hadn’t gotten into it). I was also at a talking heads forum on collaboration for a day in January and several friends were there who were tweeters so I did the laborious work of finding people to follow (back then there was no people search – you sort of found people by who you saw following people you knew).
I have several more thoughts about big things of the year. I will continue to write in the next few days. I am going to get back into blogging. These last 8 months since IIW#7 2008a I have had some rather significant personal life background noise. It is why I haven’t been writing or getting out much. So one of my resolutions for the year is to blog more.