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A friend and I just had a wonderful 1:1 chat, and I wanted to share it here (with her permission). She asked me to remove her name because she thinks she was off her game – I think she’s crazy – but I will respect her request none-the-less.

Please excuse the raw nature – this is a straight copy+paste chat log from Adium.

Also, for clarity, my timeframe for this world peace is not days, weeks or even decades. There are also all sorts of things that can screw my assumptions up. But this is an interesting thought exercise none the less.

9:11 – My Friend:

Chris, about your idea that our connectedness will bring world peace… someday?

9:11 – Chris Saad:

yes – most people think i’m crazy
… i think it’s already happening

9:12 – My Friend:

Do you think that it’s making us more moral?

9:13 – Chris Saad

no… i think it’s broadening the set of people we apply our morality to

because we are coming to the obvious revelation that everyone is human, everyone has the same fundamental desires (safety, love, hope) and deserves a fundamental level of respect and dignity

9:14 – My Friend:

do you think it’s changing our ideas of what morality is?

9:14 – Chris Saad

… i think humans are always fundamentally selfish – but they prioritize themselves first, and people like them second

… all i’m saying is that people will increasingly realize that there are a lot more people like them than they originally thought – i.e. everyone

9:15 – My Friend:

I think yes we are redefining our standards of morality b/c of the connectedness

9:16 – Chris Saad

I think it looks like that at the surface
… but it’s only because we are applying our same morality in different ways

9:16 – My Friend:


9:16 – Chris Saad

which sort of creates a new morality or at least a different looking morality
… but its probably the same morality more broadly applied
… e.g. we’d never bomb a state of the US
… that’s morality
… so why would be bomb a state of the world
… that’s ‘otherness’ which is dissipating
… but its the same morality
… man i speak a lot of shit like i know what i’m talking about
… i should get a bullshit award
… i do believe it though

9:21 – My Friend:

maybe it was the wrong question.
do you think moral codes are changing
morals w/i established groups

9:22 – Chris Saad

can u give me an example of a moral code and how it might have changed?

9:23 – My Friend:

Churches granting priesthood to homosexuals, for example

9:24 – Chris Saad

see i still think that’s a broadening of application of an existing morality

… the original moral code was to grant priesthoods to those who worked for it and were pihas  (sp?)

9:24 – My Friend:

maybe it’s just a swinging back of the pendulum

9:24 – Chris Saad

… i could be wrong – this is just my opinion hah

9:29 – My Friend:

… but to everyone

you posit then that it’s a broadening of moral code – a shedding of the sense of “other” for a set of fundamentally understood values

9:29 – Chris Saad

a broadening of the application of moral codes
… but yes

… we’re not broadening the scope of the moral code, we’re broadening the group of people who fit inside the original scope.

All they are doing now is applying it to a broader set of people – people once considered ‘other’
… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
… this is our fundamental morality
… its only just being applied more broadly
… to more people – not just americans, or males, or straights

9:30 – My Friend:

and this is one of the contributions to a more peaceful world?

9:30 – Chris Saad

its sort of like the big bang, planets and solar systems are not moving – the space itself is moving heh
… like dots on an inflating balloon
… the dots aren’t moving – the balloon is

9:31 – My Friend:

we’re on the whale. I just wanted to better understand your view.

9:32 – Chris Saad

presumably it does lead to more peaceful world yes – just like *most* people would not rape their daughter, they would also not rape their neighbor or their countrymen or a foreigner

… we would not embargo our family, or our neighbors or our states or our foreign neighbors – even the word foreign becomes obsolete

9:35 – My Friend:

what about the big brother aspect of all this connectedness?

9:35 – Chris Saad

I’m not sure it’s strictly related

… although if most things are public, then ‘big brother’ becomes more like ‘social consciousness’ – taboos break down and privacy based on fear (taboos like health conditions, weird sexual interests etc etc) begin to lose meaning

9:36 – My Friend:

Interesting.  Why not?

9:38 – Chris Saad

well privacy is still a right – social media is not about giving up privacy but it does somewhat diminish the need for and the value on privacy because as I said above taboos begin to evaporate

When I heard about Gary Vee’s talk at #140conf was titled ‘Scaling Caring’ I though “Seriously? That’s stupid”.

I just watched the video. I was wrong. Maybe in the wrong hands that could have been a stupid talk, but in Gary’s hands it, like everything else he does, was a fun, insightful and earnest attempt to open people’s eyes to what’s in front of them.

Scalable Caring

The talk actually touches on what Jeremiah and I were blogging about recently. Jeremiah had asked the question ‘Can people scale along with Social Media’. In other words, can you really keep up with all these incoming messages while remaining authentic and doing a real level of caring.

My response was no, you can’t. And you shouldn’t try. Social Media is actually Personal Media and it’s not about talking to everyone who sends you a message – it’s about being authentic and staying in touch with friends and things that interest you.

Gary has highlighted another type of Scale though – one that Jeremiah and I missed. One that is obvious to some but all too often missed by many.

Gary’s point was that brands (personal or corporate) should pay attention to the once private and now very public,  searchable and archive-able word of mouth that is happening at breakneck pace across the web today. You should care about every single mention and react, respond and resolve every single mention of your brand.

I wasn’t going to write a post on this – it was just a passing thought – and then I got a PayPal customer satisfaction survey in my inbox. Really? Do you really need to run a survey to know what I’m thinking? Why don’t you just tune into my Twitter feed?

Does PayPal listen to Twitter? I don’t know. Do they respond? Doesn’t seem so. Their @PayPal account seems to be just re-posting news highlights. Maybe they are – I don’t have time to do any thorough research on this specific case, but it did tip me over the edge to post.

Gary Vee is making a fundamental point that we’ve all made in the short history of this new media ecosystem – but as usual his delivery style makes all the difference.

This theme especially resonates with me with my recent work at JS-Kit. We (the strategy team) often talk about support as a killer feature. We try to respond to every blog post and twitter message about our service to let customers know we care. But more than that, we actually care. We don’t just respond, we factor it into our decision making. I’m sure this isn’t unique, but it is far from pervasive – especially outside the web industry – and it should be.

We also spend a lot of time thinking about how a tool like JS-Kit Comments might facilitate more scalable caring. How can a site owner or a participant/user keep track of their audience or their friends in all the social media noise?

The answers are still being formulated – but rest assured I will keep an ear out for the clear and resounding feedback – not with a survey, but by tuning into the ongoing, searchable and archivable conversation.

Facebook has announced that they are about to release vanity URLs.

What most people don’t realize is that this move, while interesting, is not really about vanity URLs at all – it’s actually about addressable identity.

One of Twitter’s key advantages in the race for dominance over internet identity is their growing namespace of what I call Addressable Identities.

What are they I hear you ask? An example of an Addressable Identity is being able to write ‘@chrissaad‘ and have the system and users understand that it is a direct and concrete reference to me. This form of addressing is particularly interesting because it is easy to write in a sentence or micro-blog.

With Vanity URLs, Facebook will encourage users to specify a tidy/tiny/compact identity identifier by which friends/followers/others can reference/point to each other. This is a big step towards keeping up with Twitter as one of the web’s only providers of modern addressable identities (email is an old, less compact version of this).

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and how we consolidate these namespaces when using 3rd party services.

It might ultimately have to end up like good old email:, etc.

Ideally though, we should be able to use our own/personal email address and have it resolve to an OpenID for true, federated and open addressable identity.

That, however, is still some way away.


Today the Media 2.0 Best Practices went live. I’m very happy to see this come to light.

I’ve been working on something like it for a number of years now, and with JS-Kit’s backing and the participation of my friends it has taken shape.

I’d like to thank all involved. I look forward to having conversations with the participants and creating something that vendors can use to make and keep user-centric promises to their participants.

I’m also very happy that the Media 2.0 Workgroup was able to take on this process and see it through. There is a lot of potential in that group that is yet to be realized.

Check it out…

Visit the site and view the strawman at

Follow along

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I’m a little weary of the Twitter Vs. Facebook debate.

I posted this comment on Fred Wilson’s blog. I thought I would share here:

Twitter is the status service of the web-wide social network. Facebook status updates are the status update feature of Facebook. The web will always be bigger than Facebook therefore Twitter’s potential as a messaging bus will always be greater.

While Twitter continues to create loosely coupled links across the open web (a lightweight process), Facebook continues to try to expand the perimeter of its walled garden (a heavy weight process that is creating a backlash from major brands and savvy users).

Twitter is public and asymmetrical. It allows for bots and other innovations.

Facebook is private and symmetrical, forcing users to use their real names and deciding which updates get through to follower news feed.

The two services couldn’t be more different and the influence and effectiveness of their scale can not be measured 1:1.

I have just published a post about “Peered Data Portability” on the official DataPortability Blog.

While the post deals with open standards and software architectures it’s actually about business. How much is the social networking aspects of your web-based properties worth to you? If you are a major media property (CNN, BBC, Fox etc), a provider of digital services to large brands (Ford, Amex, Coke etc) or a large blog/website how comfortable are you with outsourcing a major part of your core value to a single, central social networking node (In my example it was Facebook).

Major companies across the world are starting to realize that to remain ‘in the game’ on social networking specifically and the web in general it’s critical that a peered model for data portability emerges.

Check out the post here.