Doc Searls is grooving ever more deeply on identity, carrying the torch and getting people to start thinking about a technology that is “just in its infancy”. And he's got the Gillmor Gang going nuts on all of this.
Not only that, but he presented me with a “coolest comment” in his response to my previous post. For me it's like an Oscar – well, maybe an Emmy. I'd like to thank my father and my mother. Maybe one day I'll have a star carved in his blog roll…
And how could I not forever love a guy who says, “Meta Man is back, big-time!” The Doc knows what's up, and does he ever know how to say it.
“The Fifth Law of Identity sends me clamoring for the first four…
“There was a very important coming together at DIDW of Kim, Phil Windley, Craig Burton, Eric Norlin, Marc Canter, Drummond Reed, Bryan Field-Elliot, Andre Durand, Jamie Lewis, Kaliya Hamlin, Dick Hardt, Owen Davis, Simon Grice, various Identity Commons and i-names folk, and many more people I insult (as I said a couple days ago) by not running in the credits. While all those folks and their projects are important, Kim's participation in the conversation is extremely encouraging to me — and not just because (brace yourselves and park your prejudices) he works for Microsoft.
Let's face it. Doc was instrumental in making all that happen – through the session he animated on bottoms-up identity, which actually included a lunch moderated by the Doctor himself and enough side-meetings that we all became friends.
So yes. On this New Year's Day, I do believe we have a chance to “park our prejudices” and learn how to communicate with each other so as to solve this identity problem.
The latest step on that road was the New Year's Eve (almost) Special Wild West Edition of The Gillmor Gang – which Doug Kaye renamed the Gillmor Gaggle because of the number of identity experts assembled in one virtual place. Steve Gillmor describes it this way,
It begins as a Kumbaya of identity vendors and technologies, but by the second half the gloves come off. Craig points out that everyone has built silos so far because there have been no alternatives. Is the idea of a Microsoft silo “old fashioned thinking,” as Kim suggests, defending the company he joined not all that long ago? He then presents the first five of his seven Laws of Identity — clearly well thought out and vendor independent as all agree. Everyone also agrees that no identity solution can succeed without the cooperation and participation of Microsoft, but Dave is skeptical given the company's history in identity management. Phil points out that PKI hasn't succeded, and Kim suggests it's because PKI violated his 4th Law of Identity. And Doc suggests that digital identity needs a ‘key personality’ in the same way as Dave has played a lead role in RSS and blogging. Make sure you listen to this one all the way through.
One of the more bizarre and silly moments comes when I interpret Dave Winer's phrase “Nobody took them on” as meaning “nobody took them (Microsoft) to task” whereas he clearly meant, “nobody bought into the technology”. We go on to talk right past each other even though we basically agree. Funny in retrospect – and we'll get there, really we will.
There are lots of exciting moments and fascinating points made in the discussion – far out, Gillmor people.