November 16, 2007

Help Open Up the Social Web at the Internet Identity Workshop

IIW2007 Registration bannerOf all the community events working towards an open social web, the most productive and insightful–and the one I look forward to most–is the bi-annual Internet Identity Workshop, held in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. That’s where OpenID was really debated and matured to the phenomenon it is today, and it’s also where all the people behind related (and would-be competing) ideas like CardSpace, Liberty, Sxip, LID, and so on came together and found a way to converge their visions and work together. It’s also where Plaxo learned to deeply understand and embrace open standards, community involvement, user-centric identity, and the crucial balance of idealism and pragmatism required to get an open vision meaningfully deployed in the real world.
All this happens at IIW because the right people are there, and the workshop fosters the right attitude. It’s not a traditional conference–it’s an un-conference-style workshop hosted and attended by peers. Most of the thought leaders who are developing the new concepts and technologies you’ve heard about for identity, security, and data-exchange on the web will be there, alongside the people who are bringing those ideas inside AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, and other companies that can deliver these things to millions of users. And there are also individuals and small companies that want to learn about this space more deeply and find out of they contribute to the conversation.
If you’re one of those people, you should try to come to IIW. This is my third IIW, and every time I meet more amazing people, learn a ton (both at the conceptual and technical levels), and leave with a renewed sense of energy and optimism that we can deliver the future we want. The people who come here are passionate about what they do, and they’re always happy to explain their ideas and motivations to new people who want to get involved. At my first IIW, I didn’t know anything about most of the concepts that are now at the center of my work at Plaxo on opening up the social web. I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone at IIW that took the time to help me understand, and I’m pleased to now be in a position where I can do some of that teaching as well.
At the next IIW (December 3-5), we’re sure to talk about OpenID, oAuth, identity consolidation, friends-list portability, and more. Plaxo will of course be there (and we’re pleased to help sponsor this time as well). The spirit you’ll feel at IIW is that we’re all in this together, and together we can make great things happen. I’ll see you there.
–Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect

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Redgee Capili

General Manager, Plaxo.com

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