The DiSo Project
Chris Messina May 13, 2009
La Cantine Paris, France
what if you’re not google?
what’s in it for you?
or what if don’t have or don’t want accounts with them? or if you want to keep your
this is where the diso project came from. explain simple history.
barcamp is an example of a real-world distributed social network.
judging from barcamp.org, it’s clear that we lack the tools that we need to eectively and
productively organize ourselves.
Similarly, with coworking — our eort to prop up shared workspaces for independents —
working alone sometimes really sucks!
social networking in isolation also sucks...!
as we invite technology into our lives, technology must change for us too.
this means that the space between our online and ofline lives is decreasing.
and that’s a good thing.
Source: University of Winnipeg
Quickly I want to point out why BarCamp is an example of a organic rhizomatic structure.
Simply put, BarCamp encodes the instructions for creating BarCamp in the event itself. By
attending the event, you learn how to run the event. There’s no magic. it’s transparent.
As each new node shoots out from the original, it could be severed from the original and
reproduce more of the same, adapting to conditions as necessary, and not reliant on the
parent in any way.
We see this with the many permutations of the *camp brand... WineCamp, HealthCamp,
CookCamp, RailCamp, etc.
I’m going to dive right in here...
the promise of Web 2.0 has yet to be realized. we still have a lot of work to do here.
“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer
industry caused by the move to the internet as platform,
and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that
new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build
applications that harness network effects to get better
the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere
called ‘harnessing collective intelligence.’)”
— Tim O’Reilly, Grand Poobah 2.0
Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the
internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new
platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network eects to
get better the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere called “harnessing
“Data is the new Intel Inside.”
Photo credit: Adam Tinworth
Now, it’s not that Facebook is evil. But it’s about the context in which we ﬁnd this
juxtaposition. Or, as Tim O’Reilly has astutely observed, “Data in the new Intel Inside.”
• The perpetual beta becomes a process for engaging
• 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.
But Tim also had ﬁve other rules that accompanied his deﬁnition from back in Dec 2006.
it’s as though he really saw the future here. Hindsight tells us that he certainly called cloud
computing before it happened. But it’s equally important to learn the history of your industry
and understand how we got to where we are now.
you could describe the current situation as a competition between facebook and google.
The Open Web
but you’d be missing the bigger picture, and you’d have already lost.
the battle for the future of the social web has begun
quite simply, the battle for the future of the social web has begun and players are starting to
and open source doesn’t matter like it used to.
“...We’ve moved beyond the business models that
insist that every line of software be open source:
they couldn’t scale and tended to treat openness
as an end in and of itself, rather than as a means
to an end.
Today, if you look at the most successful open-
source businesses, none of them pass the
ideologues’ unrealistic and counterproductive
“100-percent freedom” litmus test. Not a single
one of them.
And that’s OK.”
—Matt Asay, CNET
and this represents and important shift historically.
the machines are ﬁnally starting to serve us — and by “us”, I mean people who don’t live and
breathe TechMeme or spend all of their time in code.
That is, I mean mere mortals.
Source: Mick Hagen (mickhagen.com)
and so we arrive at a situation where facebook has a valuation of $14B. because they’ve
erected such eective walls around their garden and gathered so much information about
people that companies want to do business with facebook, and not with the individual.
Source: Le Monde
this is a little dated now, but at the time it showed the preference to dierent social networks
around the world. you see names like myspace, facebook, bebo... but there’s no mention of
individual bloggers or people who run their own websites. there’s no acknowledgement of
those living outside of these walled gardens... those who inhabit the “open web”.
Plaxo Pulse (importing Flickr)
access to classes of friends and contacts
Fire Eagle Dopplr
access between services, where you can specify which service has access to what data
global/high level privacy, and then diving in to more speciﬁcs
it is my belief that more control over how you share leads to people wanting to and being
conﬁdent about sharing MORE. help set people’s expectations about who can see what, and
sharing will follow.
icons by Seedling Design and Fast Icon
so you need a way to refer to these cloud-based applications like you used to...
meanwhile we have hybrid apps like these that are also being thrown into the mix with
inﬁnite storage but a native experience. and these all require identity of some sort.
icon by Seedling Design
which brings me back to openid.
as I mentioned before, with discovery, you can use your OpenID as a universal pointer to all
of your services, so when a great new web applications launches, you simply sign in, provide
authorization and BOOM, you can get to work.
None of this “invite your friends” and all that. Activities Streams become a passive mechanism
to invite your friends, showing them what you’re up to.