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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 www.mediabestpractices.com


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This TimeOnline story about Twitter is clearly linkbait. But dammit, I can’t resist.

Here are some of the quotes from some clinical psychologist dude by the name of Oliver James and a Cognitive Neuropsychologist David Lewis. Oliver and David clearly have no idea what they are talking about and should quit their day job.

The clinical psychologist Oliver James has his reservations. “Twittering stems from a lack of identity. It’s a constant update of who you are, what you are, where you are. Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity.”

“We are the most narcissistic age ever,” agrees Dr David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsychologist and director of research based at the University of Sussex. “Using Twitter suggests a level of insecurity whereby, unless people recognise you, you cease to exist. It may stave off insecurity in the short term, but it won’t cure it.”

Are these people for real? A lack of identity?

Twitter is simply the most recent tool by which we perform an age old, very human, very healthy behavior. Connection and Communication.

Connecting and Communicating is the very essence of identity. It is the method by which we test, refine, express, learn and declare our identities. It is everything.

Twitter is two friends chatting all day while they work. It is a group of friends sitting around a camp fire. It is a group of colleges learning from each other. It is the world expressing its collective identity to each other.

If it is narcissism to express yourself and tune into the expressions of your family, friends and peers then we are all narcissists.

Twitter is a return to story telling that was sublimated by the invention of mass media. It is the purest most durable expression of personal media to come out of the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

We’ve all heard these knee-jerk reactions before at the advent of the Telephone, The Internet and Blogging. Each time we find a new, easier ways to communicate, out of touch people need to question why human beings need to be so connected.

These crack pots who have not experienced these tools for themselves should do a little more research. Maybe Andy Pemberton, the author of this article, should have spent a few more days learning about and trying the tool he admits to have just discovered before passing judgment on it, lest someone confuse his self-expression (i.e. his ‘journalism’) as ill-informed filler.

I’ve written more about this on my book outline.

I also spoke about it in my interview for the ‘Life In Perpetual Beta’ documentary.

I appologize for the tone of this post, but when ‘professionals’ seem to make such clearly absurd statements it drives me a little crazy.

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.

Real Life Community

January 3, 2009

I’m sitting here in the shuttle to JFK having finished an awesome trip to NYC and I’m thinking about community.

In our industry that word gets thrown around a lot, but I’m not talking about our product, I’m talking about our process.

This thing that has happened over the last few years has been special. A global ecosystem of people – no of friends – has been created. Friends defined not by their knowledge of each other necessarily, but in the knowledge of a shared idea. A shared belief perhaps. That by being more open and connected we can achieve new, better things.

Better ideas, better friends, better businesses, better governance… maybe even eventually a better society.

I have met these people everywhere I go. From Amsterdam to New York City. They are individuals and groups with unparalleled openness to new people and new ideas. They have opened their homes and minds to me and the others around them. It has been amazing to watch.

We all seem to recognize our common hopes in each other instantly. Hopes about the social web, about our work and maybe even in a new kind of global social consciousness.

People like @askfrasco who let me stay in her Greenwitch Village apartment for almost a month. @Brett who invited and introduced me to almost everyone in New York – especially @tedmurphy, @mikepratt & @hellyeah1. My old friends (old in both age and length of friendship) @globalcitizen and @bryanthatcher who lent me their offices and reminisced about past parties and work. One of the first people I met in the US tech scene, @gregarious, who showed me his old family home and introduced me to new friends like @rogerwu @themaria, @suzymae, @skyle and @technosailor. And by extension their introduction to @hermannm who had us over for a random dinner party.

All these people (and these are just some of the ones in NYC), have all shown me this new kind of person. This new community. I hope that this collective survives the faded Web 2.0 bandwagon and the defusing funding surge to turn into something more important, long lasting and profound.

A new kind of global collective that seeds our ideas in the general, mainstream public to change the people around us – one at a time. To help them to discover the kind of global village we know exists. Because after all, the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed… yet.

Happy new year my friends.

A note of thanks…

December 25, 2008

The new year is approaching and I am finding myself reflecting on an incredible 12 months. Incredible, surreal, gratifying, crushing, uplifting, concerning and more.

This year I’ve basically been a homeless nomad as I’ve traveled the world to conferences and meetings. I’ve spent 14 hour stretches on planes, stayed in everything from crappy random motels all the way through to mansions in high-rise buildings.

I have loved every moment. It has been life changing.

I owe a lot of people a great debt. They helped make this year possible. I am going to invariably miss some of them here, but I’m going to try to name them anyway.

Nik Seirlis

Nik was the guy who believed in a 10 year old kid doing work experience in a computer store. He listened to my complaining one rainy night 3 years ago and said “Kid, you need to stop doing this small time stuff and think bigger”. OK he didn’t quite say it like a cowboy, but you get the drift. Nik continues to give me a firm kick in the arse every time I start to rest on my laurels. He helped me get the courage to start this journey.

He literally got on a plane with me in ’06 and we went to Silicon Valley together. Nik’s personal success set the bar for me in my own life and continues to inspire me.

Ashley Angell

If Nik helped me start the journey, then Ashley packed his bags, sold out his family and joined me on the road (figuratively). Ashley and I co-founded Faraday Media together, dreamt up APML and Data Portability together and have had countless discussions about social media, friendship, partnership and much much more. ‘

Ashley has that rare quality that you need in a business partner to be able to switch contexts. We each explicitly switch gears from ‘Friends’ to ‘Founders’ to ‘Board Members’ and emotionally and logistically bucket our discussions. Having worked with countless partners and friends, I can’t tell you how important, and how amazing this skill is.

Thank you my friend!

Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly funded the journey. He is Faraday Media’s angel investor and still funds aspects of the company to this day. His dry wit, calm attitude in the face of adversity and generous spirit have made it possible for Ashley and I to ride out together.

Ben Metcalfe

Ben is a unique guy. Dude is maybe a better word. When I first met Ben with Nik Serlis in 2006 his first words to me were ‘Why would I want to download THAT” referring to our then windows download product. I took an instant dislike to him.

Right after that, though, Ben showed his true nature. He and Sofia totally set us up in the Valley. They introduced us to almost everyone we know today. They showed us the sights, explained the culture and not only pointed us in the right direction, they took us by the hand and lead us there. Within a day I was having drinks with one of my heroes in SF city – Stowe Boyd.

Stowe Boyd

Stowe has been my inspiration for quite a few ideas over the last couple of years. What I call Edge Theory, Streams and even some of my ideas on the Attention Economy have been inspired by him.

Stowe continues to be an inspiration and I’m grateful to be working with him even more closely today!

Daniela Barbosa

Daniela is beautiful both inside and out. She is my co-conspirator, my collaborator and my friend. Along with Ashley, Marjolein and Elias (and many others not on this list) she helped me co-found and more importantly operate the DataPortability project. Without her, Elias and Marjolein (in the early days) it would have literally imploded under its own weight.

She has been unwavering in her loyalty and commitment and for that I will be forever grateful.

Marjolein Hoekstra

As I’ve described before Marjolein is a quiet supernode of the social media landscape. Her emotional and logistical investment into all this ‘Chris’ in the last couple of years has made it possible to keep up with our community, related posts and people and ideas and trends.  Marjolein uses her news radar skills and her countless browser tabs to find gold nugets in a raging river of noise.

I wish I saw more of her these days.

Elias Bizannes

Like I said above, Elias is one of the people who co-founded DataPortability with me. More importantly, however, he has been compeltely piviotol in turning the project into an organization. While we don’t always agree, we always respect what each of us brings to the table. And he brings a lot of HARD, detail orientated work. Like with everyone on this list, I could not have done significant chunks of my work this year without his help.

Martin Wells

Martin is almost as much a philanthropist as he is an Entreprenuer. I first glimpsed Marty’s name on the ‘2 Web crew’ website. An Aussie cabal of Web 2.0 leaders. They were once a pinicle of ‘in crowd’ for me to reach out to.

Reach out I did, to many of them. None responded with the generosity and common sense advice that Marty did. He not only elevated my thinking, but challenged me to think even more. He challenged me to stop thinking and to act.

He almost flew back to Australia to drag me to the Valley this year. I’m so glad I came.

Beyond the professional, however, I’d like to think that Marty and I have become great friends. He opened his home to me for many months and I will always love spending time with him, his wife and kids.

Robert Scoble

I met a lot of my heroes in the course of this year. Some were great, others were disappointing.

Scoble is exactly as you’d imagine. In the best way possible. He is constnatly swamped by people wanting his attention. He has a million incoming messages at any given time. And he tries his very hardest to give every single person SOME time. He sees us all as equals in a giant conversation.

His laugh is infectious and he is ALWAYS smiling.

His faith in me during his Facebook crisis helped propel the DataPortability project to a new level and his friendship through countless conferences and meetups (We’ll always have Amsterdam Robert hah) have turned amazing nights into surreal moments frozen in time.

It’s all just too much fun.

Michael Arrington

Michael Arrington is an amazing person. Number 100 on Time’s top 100 list this year (Lucky the list didn’t stop at 99 hey Mike?). That is seriously an amazing achievement.

Too many people assume Mike’s success is undeserved in some way. They are dead wrong. Mike works his *$@#ing arse off – often to the detrment of his health and his relationships. He gives TechCrunch everything.

When Mike invited me to stay at his home I was blown away due to his noteriety and ‘power’ in the valley. When I actually came to stay, however, I was blown away by a more important fact.

One of his first words to me were “I don’t want my shit on Valleywag”. In that moment I realized that he was taking a big risk letting me into his home and life – because any minute thing in his life could be blown out of proportion.

The most amazing thing I learned about Mike was that he still LOVES startups and helping people succeed. I would have never expected that.

Everyone wants something from Mike because they see him as a ticket to traffic or success. After spending a lot of time with him, I’d be happy to just call him a friend.

His faith and support of me at the start of the year will always be remembered and I am forever grateful.

Bill Hudak

I was introduced to Bill Hudak by Martin Wells. Almost instantly Bill, Marty and I became a crazy trio of Aussies. Bill isn’t an Aussie though. He is an American trying to be an Aussie. Oi, Bugger!

Bill is a valley boy – born and raised. He knows everyone there is to know here. He walked me into meetings with people I couldn’t believe just by making a phone call. He is super smart and super funny.

But more importantly than any of that, just like Marty, he opened his home and life to me. He lent me his car (A Pontiac Solstic no less) for countless months and litterally enabled me to speak to the people I needed to speak to.

I am proud to call him a friend.

Khris Loux

I met Khris just before a trip to Amsterdam. I really got know Khirs on the flight to Amsterdam and the ensuing 4 day Next Web Conference. When I say got to know him, I mean we laughed our arses off, took over the town, met the most amazing people and imagined the future of the web together.

Khris finds business value the way I find architectural value. He is the ying to my yang when it comes to startups. He too opened his home to me when I stayed in the valley. But more than that, he opened his mind!

As I’ve posted before, I’ve been offered a lot of gigs this year, but JS-Kit, lead by Khris, was special. I can’t wait to see what Khris and Chris can pull off in the new year.

In conclusion

I owe all these people, and countless others, a lot. Their faith, support and efforts on my behalf have made everything possible. I look forward to helping them to continue their journeys next year, and meeting more amazing people in ’09.

I’m sorry if your name does not appear here, my fingers are about to break and it’s Christmas Morning – I need to run!

Thank so much everyone.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I just posted a summary of the current data portability landscape to the Official DataPortability Blog.

From the post:

Closed platforms are like ice cubes in a glass of water. They will float for a while. They will change the temperature of the liquid
beneath. Ultimately, however, the ice cube must eventually melt into the wider web.

Facebook’s success with Facebook Connect can and will further drive innovation in the community to develop an open alternative.

Facebook’s success will (like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, AOL, Myspace, countless major media properties and countless small startups) to create alternatives. At least some of those participants will recognize (if they have not already) that the most open among them will earn both the respect and the market share of the next phase. Moving from Facebook Connect’s ‘data portability’ to Interoperable DataPortability.

A web of Data.

That’s a landscape where we can continue to innovate on a level playing field.