My friend Marc Canter

marc-canter.jpgMarc Canter at Broadband Mechanics/People Aggregator really threw me for a loop today

What can I say? He has a fantastic blog, that seems to be getting more and more concise.  And unlike most people who blog about their work, he has a “Marc Canter's friends” pane.  I'm pretty sure these are personal friends, not professional ones.  But just as a joke, I wrote, “I was hurt not to be listed as one of your friends. I guess I need to arrange some more seafood chowder?”

But be careful what you say to Marc Canter.  I don't know what happened – my words sent Marc into a long remeniscence.  I don't think I know anyone so full of positive energy – and he wears it close to the surface too – where it belongs.

I'm sure everyone knows that the things people give me credit for accomplishing are the product of lots of people pushing in the same direction, both inside Microsoft and out.  Marc is one of them, and I really value his friendship  Here's what he wrote:.

Somewhere along the way – I wrote up a list of friends – and I did not (apparently) include Kim Cameron’s name on the list.

First of all – I’m sure Kim understands – as I’ve made a lot of friends along the way – in my travels and dealings.  But most of these relationships are personal and not business oriented as well.  That fateful 1-2 punch is something both powerful and frightening.  Cause if you can influence someone to do the right thing AND he wants to do it anyway – well then you got a force of nature that can’t be stopped.

Over 2.5 years ago Kim came to us (me, Dick Hardt, Phil Windley, Doc and a few others) and told us of his dream.  A world where Microsoft would GIVE the world key technology to enable disparate Identity systems to inter-connect together.  A world where a theoretical backplane for Identity systems – would enable any all to come along and play in the same park.

Needless to say this has been incredibly influential in my thinking since then.  I owe a debt of thanks to Kim for instilling in me the belief that this sort of idealistic world can exist in our future.

OpenID is perfect for this sort of world, as is the Liberty Alliance and Shiboleth.  It now looks like Yahoo’s BB Auth is also perfect for this sort of distributed federated world of tomorrow.  And needless to say Microsoft’s Infocards system is also perfect for this – and is baked into every copy of Vista.

Kim blogs at the Identity Blog and came up with the 7 Laws of Identity – which are a litmus for quality and honesty in the world of Identity.

The guy has an air of grace, humility and honesty to him.  After hearing him give his pitch I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and support his efforts.  If indeed Microsoft could achieve all the things Kim claims they were gonna do, then indeed that would prove that Microsoft was changing and that we should support them in their attempts at inter-connecting all identity systems together.

So last month Kim goes and gets MIcrosoft to release 35 pieces of IP – “into the public domain” (well OK – it wasn’t the public domain – but they are “promising to never charge for it” – which is better than Google’s GData.)

He actually got it done. He did what he said he was gonna do!

So from where I’m sitting – my entire future and all of our futures – owes some debt of thanks to Kim.  He’s the fucking man!

So I just wanna shout out to my FRIEND Kim Cameron.  “Wassup homeboy?”

“Let’s go have some fine Istrian cucine when you’re here for Web 2.0.”

He really gets what I'm trying to do.

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.