Today is a big day for the web. The Open Web Foundation was announced at OSCON (by David Recordon). A small dedicated group of developers, web innovators and community leaders have come together to create this place were spec’s can be incubated in an open process and have IPR dealt with upfront rather then an afterthought (clearing IPR has been a long and delaying process for OpenID). The model they like for cross-company collaboration on these things is like Apache Software Foundation does for open source projects.
This effort to normalize the community process (multi company) around truly open “standards” for the social web is an important step. It is completely aligned with the vision that inspired me to evangelize the ideas for an open Identity/social/relationship layer of the web after participating in the Planetwork community and reading the Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust into the Next Generation Internet in 2003.
The big issue that I see arising and that I hope can be addressed is how the range of human experience and conditions can be well reflected in the outputs of the foundation. If the development process is driven largely by 20 something web guys in San Francisco then the applicability of the outputs will be limited.
I see continuing my role evangelizing these efforts to a diverse range of potential adopters and potential participants in the the processes that go into them.
Convening space for conversations from which good things arise is something I have already contributed and plan to continue.
- The community that formed OpenIDv2 came together at the first Internet Identity Workshop in October 2005 that I co-produced and facilitated. It has been fun to participate in helping that effort grow and develop.
- The “contacts in a standard format” (not sure what its official name is) that is one of the first three projects that are part of this Open Web Foundation got its start at the Data Sharing Workshop that I convened with Laurie Rae. I learned about the adhoc spec’s progression at SuperNova last month.
I wish I was at OSCON for this announcement having attended the previous 4. I am not there for a good reason today is the start of the World Open Space on Open Space in San Francisco and if OSCON is for coders the WOSonOS is for facilitators. For me it is a great opportunity to learn more about the arts of convening and helping communities collaborating together thrive.
I got little tingles on the drive from the East Bay to the Precido this morning thinking about how far things have come – reflecting back to when I first began in 2004 – I was SOOO… green and young and full of evangelistic energy for the work that Owen and Drummond and Victor and Fen were doing working on the i-name registry (at the time the only user-centric identity technology that the folks founding Identity Commons knew about). but that was a LONG time ago about 12 “web years”.
Today feels like a great evolutionary step for the whole web and the initiatives that I have been participating in for years. GO OPEN WEB!