I started a post a couple weeks ago about where I think the web is heading: towards a portable web, or a distributed web. The concept is simple – you own the content you put on the web. You can take it where you want to. It’s about you.

And since the world loves a catchy slogan, you get Web You.0. (u.oh?)

This concept (of the new web, not catchy slogans) is not my own creation by any means. In researching and thinking about Social Networks I’ve come across things hinting at this direction, and I wondered if it was just crazy thinking on my part. No. It’s not, unless the speakers here at O’Rielly Graphing Social Patterns share my delusion. A lot of the talks have centered around this concept.

Charlene Li from Forrester

“Social Networking will be like air”.

Charlene kicked off the conference with a keynote that gave a good overview of what she sees as the direction the web is going. It will be ubiquitous, it will be everywhere. She also confirmed my thoughts that there will need to be basically one user name and a place to hold all of your content and control your relationships. I think she sees this happening in the next five years. Will it be the big players, new big players, or some small start-ups? Probably all three. User experience will be key in pulling in users.

“Compete on creating the most compelling social experience, not social group lock in”

Pretty obvious: keep it open, make it good.

The day closed much how it began, with Chris Messina from Citizen Agency going into depth about his ongoing experiment with Distributed Social Networking. He went into some depth about the building blocks to make it happen


  • Activity Streams
  • People/Friends/Identification
  • Messaging and notification
  • Permissions
  • Groups/grouping/events

Technology to peep

  • OpenId
  • OAuth
  • Microformats
  • XRDS-simple
  • ATom/APP
  • Jabber-XMPP

More info on the project: http://diso-project.org/

More in depth analysis to come. Gotta run to the days sessions!