Internet Identity Workshop iiw2009a

IIW2009a took place May 18-20th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Please check the top of the notes page for links to other blog coverage.

The previous workshop IIW2008b was memorable for the many sweet apps (several from Google) that made use of OAuth and the marathon session on evaluating different options for discovery facilitated by Eran Hammer-Lahav (and lots of great suggestions from John Panzer, et al.). One of the principles of the open space talks is that sessions don’t necessarily end at any particular time.

The conversation about discovery continued across multiple sessions at IIW2009a. The topic of discovery is as fundamental as the social construction of reality. From a node’s perspective on the network, it can be summarized in two steps:

  • Given a resource (identified by a URI), where can I find information about it?
  • What format is this ‘information about’ in? How do I make sense of it and use it?

Here is video of Eran Hammer-Lahav’s lunch session “Introduction to Discovery: How do we Interact with the Unknown?”

I was very impressed by the work John Bradley and others are doing with interoperability testing for user-centric identity (OpenID, etc.). Allen Tom discussed the OpenID User Interface Extension and showed off some of the work with Here’s his recap at the Yahoo Developer Blog. Of course, Facebook announced it is now the biggest OpenID relying party at the workshop.

Guillaume Lebleu facilitated Identity and the Future of Money. Guillaume reviewed several complementary currencies that have sprung up on the web in the last year.

It’s amazing to overhear everyday conversations today. Talk of messages on a wall, bizarre notions of friendship and fan pages are common. The social web experience shared by millions of people is sadly monolithic. Are these new contexts getting in the way of a more interesting voyage of discovery? If we want a healthier (perhaps less addictive) experience, do our spaces on the web allow us to realize that intention?

The next Internet Identity workshop will be November 3-5.