Thoughts on web development, tech, and life.

Month: April 2008

Data Portability, Privacy, and the Emergence of the Social Web (Web 2.0 Expo)

Data Portability, Privacy, and the Emergence of the Social Web
Web 2.0 Expo
San Francisco, CA
April 23, 2008

Download PPT (5.3 MB)

cover-slideI’ve been talking about opening up the social web for some time, but the world keeps changing around me, so I can never use an old talk for very long. Since Web 2.0 Expo is such a big venue (probably the biggest conference I’ve ever spoken at), and since at Plaxo we’ve recently come to a new degree of clarity on how we see the emerging social web ecosystem emerging, I decided to make a totally fresh talk that answers “what is all this stuff going on right now, and where is it all headed”. After doing a dry-run for Plaxo employees yesterday, it was suggested that the visual impact of my slides could use some “polishing” (hey, I’m an engineer!), so our creative director Michael jumped in and worked with me into the night to help pretty things up. He’s amazing and this is easily the most beautiful set of slides I’ve ever had the privledge to deliver. 🙂

The room was packed, and I think the talk went very well. In fact, the Q&A was so lively and went on for so long that I actually got “played off the stage” with music to make room for the next speaker! And the huddle around the stage lasted considerably longer. So I guess I at least I got people thinking and talking. 😉 I was also pleasantly surprised to see a torrent of positive real-time reviews in the twitter-sphere (archived screenshot). My talk was live-blogged by Andrew Mager and Mark Scrimshire (thanks, guys!), and John McCrea even shot some video.

SocialWebDiagram-5It’s very exciting to be in the middle of such a transformative period in the Web. I firmly believe we’re on the cusp of the next major phase of the Web–the social web–and that a new layer of service providers are emerging to empower users to interact with the thousands of socially-enabled sites and services: identity providers, content aggregators, and social graph providers. There are examples of companies today that fulfill one or more of these rolls, and Plaxo is certainly going to participate in all of them, but we’re all just getting started, and–as I find myself saying more and more–you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Open Social Web roadshow continues

I mentioned earlier that the opening up of the social web has become a hot topic that’s taking center stage at many recent conferences and community events–and it seems to keep getting hotter every day. As a passionate advocate and early adopter / implementor of many of the building-block technologies (OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, microformats, Social Graph API, friends-list portability, etc.) working for a startup that’s helping define the new consumer and business ecosystem that’s emerging (both inside Plaxo Pulse and by helping users connect up the different tools and services they use), I’ve been speaking and otherwise participating in a lot of these events. Here’s an updated list of events I’ll be at in the next few weeks (including events today, tomorrow, and next week, heh). If you’re around at one or more of them, I hope you’ll come find me and say hi! 🙂

ReMIX08: Mountain View, Apr 17
Panel: “The Future of Social Networking” (3-4pm)

Data Sharing Workshop: San Francisco, Apr 18-19
Opening speaker: “What’s the problem?” (9am)

Web 2.0 Expo: San Francisco, Apr 22-25
Talk: Data Portability, Privacy, and the Emergence of the Social Web (Apr 23, 10:50am)

Web 2.0 Expo: San Francisco, Apr 22-25
Panel: OpenID, OAuth, Data Portability, and the Enterprise (Apr 23, 2:40pm)

OAuth Hackathon: San Francisco, Apr 26 (2-8pm)
Trying to help increase adoption of OAuth

Internet Identity Workshop: Mountain View, May 12-14
User-generated conference; I’m sure I’ll be running a few sessions

Data Sharing Summit: Mountain View, May 15
Directly following IIW

Google I/O: San Francisco, May 28-29
Talk: OpenSocial, OpenID, and OAuth: Oh, My! (exact time TBD)

Whoa, that’s a lot of events, considering they’re all in the next 6 weeks or so. 🙂 What can I say? The next major phase of the web is being formed as we speak, and it seems like every day another piece of the puzzle is being added. And between the technical, privacy, business, and user experience issues to debate, there’s always plenty to talk about.

If you can only make it to one of these events, I recommend trying to attend the Internet Identity Workshop. Everyone you’d want to meet in this community will be there, it’s incredibly accessible (both in terms of price to attend and ease of talking with key people), and it’s a good mix of explaining where we’re at today and getting down to real work pushing the envelope of where things go next. I always learn a ton at every IIW, I always have a great time, and I always leave with a bunch of great new ideas I can’t wait to work on. I’m sure if you come, you’ll have the same experience.

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