Social Network Supermarkets and How to Defeat Them
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Social Network Supermarkets and How to Defeat Them Social Network Supermarkets and How to Defeat Them Document Transcript

  • SOCIAL NETWORK SUPERMARKETS & HOW TO DEFEAT THEM Chris Messina • Open Source Bridge • June 18, 2009 • Portland, Oregon Before I begin, I want to point out this is not a technical talk. Itʼs a little more philosophical and at a higher level.
  • @chrismessina #osb09
  • to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I was thinking when I proposed the title for this talk. And I’ve actually struggled a bit to put together a coherent narrative for you, but I think I managed to pull it off. Just barely. I want to start by talking about something that’s still going on and that has a great deal of significance in the world... It’s something that is representative of what’s going on in the world and on the web. (CLICK)
  • #IranElection Iran Election. (CLICK)
  • Photo by .faramarz No doubt you’ve seen the photos on Flickr.
  • Photo by .faramarz
  • Video by samir684 you’ve seen the videos
  • Wear Green For a FREE Iran Photo by David Lay and people in the western world responded by joining the protest on their own.
  • Rules when supporting the Iranian People on Twitter: 1. Change your name and location to Tehran. This will provide cover for the Tweeters in Tehran. 2. If you have proxy IP numbers to contribute, keep them private. DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 3. Use only #iranelection or #gr88 4. Use your common sense to sniff a tweet for Iranian government misinformation - try and find corroboration before you retweet. 5. Never name a source. Simply relay the information from an Iranian source using F/Iran at the beginning.  and people spread around helpful tips on how to support the Iranian people on Twitter. Convening and organizing through public channels — which were once trivialized and tossed aside.
  • #IranElection People organized themselves on Twitter and Facebook to protest what they felt was a corrupt election. It was a global, sustained, protest using social media.
  • Washington Taps Into a Potent New Force in Diplomacy By MARK LANDLER and BRIAN STELTER WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it has tried to avoid words or deeds that could be portrayed as American meddling in Iran’s presidential election and its tumultuous aftermath. Yet on Monday afternoon, a 27-year-old State Department official, Jared Cohen, e-mailed the social- networking site Twitter with an unusual request: delay scheduled maintenance of its global network, which would have cut off service while Iranians were using Twitter to swap information and inform the outside world about the mushrooming protests around Tehran. The request, made to a Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is yet another new-media milestone: the recognition by the United States government that an Internet blogging service that did not exist four years ago has the potential to change history in an ancient Islamic country. “This was just a call to say: ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?’ ” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs. Source: New York Times Apparently, Twitter was such a significant source of information that the State Department asked Twitter to push back their scheduled maintenance...
  • Washington Taps Into a Potent New Force in Diplomacy By MARK LANDLER and BRIAN STELTER WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it has tried to avoid words or deeds that could be portrayed as American meddling in Iran’s presidential election and its tumultuous aftermath. Yet on Monday afternoon, a 27-year-old State Department official, Jared Cohen, e-mailed the social- networking site Twitter with an unusual request: delay scheduled maintenance of its global network, which would have cut off service while Iranians were using Twitter to swap information and inform the outside world The request, made to a Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, about the mushrooming protests around Tehran. is yet anotherThe request, made to a milestone: Jack Dorsey, new-media Twitter co-founder, the recognition by is yet another new-media milestone: the recognition by the United States government that an Internet blogging the United States government that an Internet blogging service that did not exist four years ago has the potential service that did not exist four years ago has the potential to change history in an ancient Islamic country. to change history in an ancient Islamic country. “This was just a call to say: ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?’ ” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs. Source: New York Times Apparently, Twitter was such a significant source of information that the State Department asked Twitter to push back their scheduled maintenance...
  • ...which of course they did.
  • #pman and this wasn’t the first time Twitter was used to organize people in an ad hoc fashion. In April, the youth in Moldova stages similar protests, using the hashtag “pman”, for “Piata Marii Adunari Nationale", which is Romanian name for the biggest square in Chisinau, Moldova's capital.
  • Early this month, in the lead up to the Tiananmen 20th anniversary, China blocked sites including Twitter, Flickr and Microsoft’s Hotmail. but it’s not just in places known for their repressive politics.
  • this is also happening in places like Australia where the government has implemented its own firewall amidst much protest. in many ways, this is the same thing that has happened throughout the course of history, when any new medium has entered the fray.
  • this is also happening in places like Australia where the government has implemented its own firewall amidst much protest. in many ways, this is the same thing that has happened throughout the course of history, when any new medium has entered the fray.
  • “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” —thomas jefferson and so governments are reacting in quite the way you’d expect, by trying desperately to control that which they do not understand, and that which they do not control. of course, what this has resulted in is a great deal of new freedoms for many people around the world.
  • but, something else is going on here that I think we’ve largely failed to recognize. in the place of civic government, and new relationship (CLICK) between companies and private citizens is emerging.
  • Photo by code poet we just think it’s a free market right? capitalism, yay! commercial interest and freedom of expression are coming together in awkward and uncomfortable ways... and it’s accelerating, with unknown consequences. now, I’ll attempt to make the connection to supermarkets later but for now let’s turn to a popular and well-loved service... (CLICK).
  • flickr.
  • Source: SFGate now, it’s unfortunate, but not all that uncommon for a site like Flickr to ban a user or delete their account for spamming, harassment or some other issue. In the particular case of Shepherd Johnson, he chose to pick on the wrong Flickr user: the President. After posting several comments critical of the administration and a photo of a prisoner from Abu Graib, his account was summarily deleted, along with his 1200 photos. A tragedy for Shepherd, certainly, but it’s not the first time such a thing has happened.
  • so common are such scuffles that Flickr has a well known set of guidelines setting out just how members of the community should behave. but here’s where things start to change, and take on a new significance.
  • on January 31 of last year, Flickr became an OpenID provider, so that means that you can use your Flickr/Yahoo account to sign in anywhere that OpenID is accepted. See where I’m going here?
  • Photo by Jessi Bryan okay, call me an identity alarmist — the proverbial canary in the coalmine.... but I want to impress upon you both the importance of the social web today, and of the fragile existence of user identity given our current approach to what I call “web citizenship”. (click)
  • and this is why i think openid is SO important as a transformational technology.
  • the stakes for internet identity are heating up. there is competition to be your identity provider on the web. i want you to really consider what the economic benefit to being in charge of your identity on the web is.
  • Tim O’Reilly’s five rules The perpetual beta becomes a process for engaging customers. Share and share-alike data, reusing others’ and providing APIs to your own. Ignore the distinction between client and server. On the net, open APIs and standard protocols win. Lock-in comes from data accrual, owning a namespace or non-standard formats. Photo by Dan Farber In 2006, Tim O’Reilly wrote up five rules for web 2.0. among them (CLICK)
  • Tim O’Reilly’s five rules The perpetual beta becomes a process for engaging customers. Share and share-alike data, reusing others’ and providing APIs to your own. Ignore the distinction between client and server. On the net, open APIs and standard protocols win. Lock-in comes from data accrual, owning a namespace or non-standard formats. Photo by Dan Farber he pointed out that lock-in — that is, the inability to move freely — comes from, among others things, owning a namespace. and that’s exactly the business that large social networks are getting in to.
  • why should anyone care? why should anyone care? after all: real identity on the web is hard. the benefits just aren’t obvious yet. so why should anyone care?
  • internet identity needs to be easy, convenient & useful if i’m going to sell you internet identity i need to make it easy, convenient and useful in other words, if it’s too hard for you to do it for yourself given the value, you’re going to let someone else do it for you.
  • which is why so many companies are ready to make it easy to outsource your identity them.
  • • facebook.com/chrismessina • friendfeed.com/chrismessina • google.com/profiles/chrismessina • twitter.com/chrismessina So while you’re trying to “claim” your identity across the web (CLICK)
  • • facebook.com/chrismessina • friendfeed.com/chrismessina • google.com/profiles/chrismessina • twitter.com/chrismessina companies are ratcheting up their efforts to be namespace for people on the web.
  • i love this tweet from Dave Morin, a friend of mine who also happens to run Facebook’s developer platform. “slash” is the new “at”. and who has a greater interest in establishing that than his employer?
  • @chrismessina it’s currently the trend to refer to people by their Twitter usernames with the @ in front. but what I facebook usernames take off, and you start referring to people like (CLICK) this?
  • /chrismessina well, then the battle is over what comes BEFORE this... (CLICK)
  • http://twitter.com/chrismessina or maybe... (CLICK)
  • http://facebook.com/chrismessina
  • Etc. and so on. So long as you as the individual are not in charge of your namespace, there will be a battle over who is.
  • These characters vying to provide you with a universal account are what we call “identity providers” in the land of OpenID. You might ask then (CLICK)
  • how do you choose the right identity provider? how exactly DO you go about picking an identity provider? Well (click)
  • who represents you? who represents you? does this (CLICK)?
  • how about... (CLICK)
  • perhaps. but without context, does this convey who you are to someone? When someone Googles you... or now, BINGs you(?), which of your profiles do you want showing up first? Because in some ways, that’s what this is really all about: being the authority over your own identity.
  • This is my homepage. It’s admittedly sparse. Not the best thing I’ve ever done... but I have complete control over it. It’s also what I use as my OpenID. And, as it turns out, it’s also the first result when you search for “chris messina” on Google.
  • now, why is this is important? why should any one care? well, I think it’s because, for the first time ever, a whole lot more people care about your identity online, and you should care too. (CLICK)
  • morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, Self-actualization acceptance of facts self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, Esteem respect by others friendship, family, sexual intimacy Love/belonging security of: body, employment, resources, Safety morality, the family, health, property breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion Physiological Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs we’re seeing a shift to using real identity because the social web is playing an increasingly important role in “self-actualization”. we’ve got our biological needs met, we feel safe for the most part, and with safety in numbers comes belonging to a collective... we also are connecting with people in very real ways, providing us with esteem — allowing us to move up the pyramid to the top, where we can begin to operate at a much higher order of being.
  • so while our physiological needs are being met at a fundamental level by supermarkets like Whole Foods (at the bottom of the pyramid)
  • are we ready to self-actualize through services like facebook or twitter alone?
  • Photo by travlinman43 for many people, the answer is yes. and will be for some time.
  • Photo by Sarah Gilbert call me old fashioned, but I prefer more human-scale architecture where independents flourish.
  • Vintage Edge now, admittedly, I’m from NH, that state next to Vermont. It’s small. It’s a pitbull.
  • Photo by Mae Encarnado We’re the live free or die state. So while I live in San Francisco now (the most populous state), I came from a much smaller place.
  • Print from the Library of Congress and that meant reading the works of folks like Ralph Waldo Emerson and (CLICK)
  • Print from the Library of Congress ...and Henry David Thoreau who started a movement known as transcendentalism — an idealistic movement centered on intuition and, among things... (CLICK)
  • Elston Press reliance on the self. They advocated freedom from — at their time — interference from the government, going to live in nature, to have a more direct experience with the world. Regardless of the foibles of their particular movement, what is important for us to learn from their example is not to think about our current situation in absolute terms but reflect on the relative importance of individuality and independence.
  • supermarkets like whole foods aren’t going away — and indeed they make our lives incredibly easier (CLICK)
  • morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, Self-actualization acceptance of facts self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, Esteem respect by others friendship, family, sexual intimacy Love/belonging security of: body, employment, resources, Safety morality, the family, health, property breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion Physiological Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs and they free us up to focus on those upper levels of the pyramid.
  • Photo by Alby Headrick but, it’s still important that we maintain the ability or knowledge that enables us to grow our own food even if we take for granted and enjoy the convenience of the supermarkets.
  • now maybe this all seems esoteric, but it is leading somewhere. once you start to grow your own identity on the web... you soon realize (CLICK)
  • identity is the platform that identity is the platform for the social web. and this is why so many companies are falling over each other to serve your identity. so this leads me to (CLICK)
  • Diso the Diso Project. to make it make it easier to build social experiences on the web by deriving standards and formats from popular trends and turning them into reusable technological building blocks.
  • Diso Diso Project • http://diso-project.org the Diso Project. to make it make it easier to build social experiences on the web by deriving standards and formats from popular trends and turning them into reusable technological building blocks.
  • Diso Components* *subject to change (DON’T CLICK) identity & profile discovery & access control contacts & friends activity streams messaging groupings & shared spaces
  • Diso Components* identity & profile discovery & access control contacts & friends activity streams messaging groupings & shared spaces *subject to change (DON’T CLICK) identity & profile discovery & access control contacts & friends activity streams messaging groupings & shared spaces
  • Diso Components* identity & profile discovery & access control contacts & friends activity streams messaging groupings & shared spaces *subject to change for the rest of my talk, I want to focus on activity streams. (since I already talked about identity).
  • global. social. ubiquitous. cheap. Clay Shirky recently gave a TED talk at the State Department and said some very interesting things. among them he pointed out that our communications infrastructure has become global, social, ubuiqous and cheap. The result of that is that people are able to come together like never before, as I talked about with the Iran Election and Moldova protests.
  • a side effect is that medium is changing or is being changed. (CLICK) as Marshall McLuhan pointed out decades earlier, the medium is the message -- “the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.”
  • Scan by Tim Lynch a side effect is that medium is changing or is being changed. (CLICK) as Marshall McLuhan pointed out decades earlier, the medium is the message -- “the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.”
  • the rise of the “real-time web” therefore is one of those shifts, as we move from static-in- place content, to Dave Winer’s so-called “river of news”... (CLICK) this medium is known as the stream, represented by an “activity stream”.
  • the rise of the “real-time web” therefore is one of those shifts, as we move from static-in- place content, to Dave Winer’s so-called “river of news”... (CLICK) this medium is known as the stream, represented by an “activity stream”.
  • http://activitystrea.ms We’ve been tackling this opportunity through the Diso Project with an effect called, appropriately “Activity Streams”.
  • actor + verb + object what we’re attempting to do is to model what people are doing on the web starting with these basic primitives: “actor”, “verb”, “object”.
  • what we realized was that typical feed formats like RSS and ATOM were developed at a time when the paradigm was still the “news feed” — a throwback to older forms of content syndication — performed by “syndicates”. what people are doing on the web today is much more sophisticated than just writing blog posts, and we need a format that begins to represent the richness of what people are doing online.
  • though this effort is just over a year old, MySpace, Facebook and now, as it turns out — Opera — have implemented support for this format and we’re hoping that more will follow.
  • ® though this effort is just over a year old, MySpace, Facebook and now, as it turns out — Opera — have implemented support for this format and we’re hoping that more will follow.
  • social discovery one of the benefits of this model is what we call “social discovery” -- where you discover new things through other people.
  • A nice example of this idea is Katamari Damacy, a game where you control a character that goes around collecting stuff by adhering it to its body. this is not unlike the way that activities define who you are today. indeed, as the game progresses, all these things that you collect come to define you and your experience.
  • what you do f who you know so, who you are, therefore, is a function of what you do and who you know.
  • Tools Subject Goal Outcome Rules Roles Community and there’s actually a field of study that describes all this rather well. not surprisingly, it’s called “Activity Theory”.
  • “social objects” when we apply activity theory to social networks, we end up with something that Jyri Engstrom calls “social objects” — and the social objects and how people interact with them are what end up defining a space.
  • Diso so if we go back to the Diso Project, one of the ideas is to take activity streams, activity theory and identity to develop a distributed social network, where you as an individual actor are in charge of your fate.
  • just like we make use of supermarkets like Whole Foods to great effect, that benefit all of us, it is important that we never become so dependent on them that we lose sight of our own humanity and reliance on them.
  • similarly, we need to be wary of the same sorts of things happening with the large social networks. this isn’t about defeating these guys, really. because we need them to help create the social spaces that contain and aggregate social objects. but they should exist as players in a much bigger ecosystem.
  • compete on the open web, not with it. the point then, is to compete ON the open web, and not with. to keep building it as a public resource.
  • Map by Bill Cheswick the web after all, is the largest social network of them all, and must continue to be cultivated, nourished and protected. and I believe that that can only be made possible if we start with the smallest unit of the social web -- identity.
  • end. chris@citizenagency.com • @chrismessina • factoryjoe.com Typeface: FTF Flama™ by Mario Feliciano so that’s it. questions?
  • end. chris@citizenagency.com • @chrismessina • factoryjoe.com Typeface: FTF Flama™ by Mario Feliciano so that’s it. questions?
  • Diso Hack Session Hacker Lounge • 1-5pm Hilton Portland & Executive Tower