I’m joining Vidoop to work on DiSo full time

Twitter / Scott Kveton: w00t! @factoryjoe and @willnorris joining Vidoop ... :-) http://twurl.cc/18g

Well, Twitter, along with Marshall and his post on ReadWriteWeb, beat me to it, but I’m pretty excited to announce that, yes, I am joining Vidoop, along with Will Norris, to work full time on the DiSo (distributed social) Project.

For quite some time I’ve wanted to get the chance to get back to focusing on the work that I started with Flock — and that I’ve continued, more or less, with my involvement and advocacy of projects like microformats, OpenID and OAuth. These projects don’t accidentally relate to people using technology to behave socially: they exist to make it easier, and better, for people to use the web (and related technologies) to connect with one another safely, confidently, and without the need to to sign up with any particular network just to talk to their friends and people that they care about.

The reality is that people have long been able to connect to one another using technology — what was the first telegraph transmission if not the earliest poke heard round the world? The problem that we have today is that, with the proliferation of fairly large, non-interoperable social networks, it’s not as easy as email or telephones have been to connect to people, and so, the next generation of social networks are invariably going to need to make the process of connecting over the divides easier, safer and with less friction if people really are going to, as expected, continue to increase their use of the web for communication and social interaction.

So what is the DiSo Project?

DISO-PROJECTThe DiSo Project has humble roots. Basically Steve Ivy and I started hacking on a plugin that I’d written that added hcards to your contact list or blogroll. It was really stupidly simple, but when we combined it with Will Norris’ OpenID plugin, we realized that we were on to something — since contact lists were already represented as URLs, we now had a way to verify whether the person who ostensibly owned one of those URLs was leaving a comment, or signing in, and we could thereby add new features, expose private content or any number of other interesting social networking-like thing!

This lead me to start “sketching” ideas for WordPress plugins that would be useful in a distributed social network, and eventually Steve came up with the name, registered the domain, and we were off!

Since then, Stephen Paul Weber has jumped in and released additional plugins for OAuth, XRDS-Simple, actionstreams and profile import, and this was when the project was just a side project.

What’s this mean?

Working full time on this means that Will and I should be able to make much more progress, much more quickly, and to work with other projects and representatives from efforts like Drupal, BuddyPress and MovableType to get interop happening (eventually) between each project’s implementation.

Will and I will eventually be setting up an office in San Francisco, likely a shared office space (hybrid coworking), so if you’re a small company looking for a space in the city, let’s talk.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about DiSo in particular, you should probably just check out the interview I did with myself about DiSo to get caught up to speed.

. . .

I’ll probably post more details later on, but for now I’m stoked to have the opportunity to work with a really talented and energized group of folks to work on the social layer of the open web.

28 Comments

  1. Tom said
    at 6pm on May 13th # |

    Didn’t you just get beat by Google Friend Connect?

  2. Marshall Kirkpatrick said
    at 7pm on May 13th # |

    Congrats Chris, I’m really excited for you, for Vidoop and for the web. You already read that once though :) ttys, m

  3. Anil said
    at 7pm on May 13th # |

    Congrats on the new gig! Looking forward to continuing to work with you guys, only now it’s Six Apart working with Vidoop instead of just “hey, let’s talk about this stuff more”. :)

  4. at 7pm on May 13th # |

    @Tom if by “beat” you mean “validated”, then yes!

    @Anil naw, same as always, but now I’ll have code behind my whacked out ideas!

  5. Lloyd Budd said
    at 7pm on May 13th # |

    It’s wonderful that you continue to follow your passion, and take your expertise to new levels!

  6. Yan said
    at 8pm on May 13th # |

    Congrats. I think google friend connect coming out is only the beginning of a brave new world of distributed social networking components. I’m going to be keeping an eye on DISO.

  7. at 8pm on May 13th # |

    woo. congratulations. IIW misses you.

  8. at 8pm on May 13th # |

    Congrats Chris! Sounds amazing – for us, and for you!

  9. at 9pm on May 13th # |

    Congratulations! That’s great news. I know from the (often heated) discussions that we’ve hat that you’re passionate about this and full of good ideas.

    Are you moving to Tulsa?

    Ian

  10. at 9pm on May 13th # |

    Thanks, all, for the well wishes! :#)

    @Terrell — man, wish I was there, but having fun in Vegas (doing my slides for tomorrow! ha!)

    @Ian: Staying in SF actually… mostly of the Vidoop crew is moving to Portland and out of Tulsa. I’ll be the SF branch! And yes, I think it’s good that we’ve had the kinds of debates we’ve had — such discourse helps sharpen my thinking, and that’s always positive. Cheers!

  11. at 9pm on May 13th # |

    Chris, that’s really exciting! I’m glad to hear there’s a focused, full-time force behind DiSo now! Let’s connect soon on Drupal’s involvement…

    Man, you and Kveton in one place – that’s scary energy!

  12. Joe said
    at 11pm on May 13th # |

    Chris, congrats and good luck! It’s great knowing you’re on the front lines with this stuff and now dedicating even more time to it.

  13. at 2am on May 14th # |

    Congratulations Chris! Very exciting news. More rhythm, more volume :)

    Cheers

  14. at 6am on May 14th # |

    Wow, congrats Chris, and what a coup for Vidoop! :) I think a lot of good will come from DiSo beyond even the basic experiences you’re enabling because it really tries to “put the pieces together” and that’s always how you discover what’s missing and what else can be made possible. So I eagerly await to see how it progresses!

  15. at 7am on May 14th # |

    Wahoo! Love this news. Stoked that Vidoop & Scott are getting behind DiSo like this. Great for you, them & the whole community.

  16. at 7am on May 14th # |

    Congratulations Chris!

    This is fantastic news. I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing DiSo progress and I’m sure this will give you the time you need to make that happen.

  17. at 8am on May 14th # |

    Congrats, Chris. I’m looking forward to the development of DiSo. Will you stay involved with Citizen Agency, though?

  18. at 8am on May 14th # |

    Again, thanks all!

    @Carsten: Great question. I was going to do a follow up post on this, but the summary answer is: yes, I will continue to be the owner of Citizen Agency, and Tara will continue to work with Citizen Agency, especially as she gets ready to start promoting her book and continues speaking. She will also continue to run Citizen Space, so that’s not going to change either.

    I will be ceasing my day-to-day consulting gigs, however, though still intend to stay involved, if not more active, in my many community projects!

    Good question!

  19. at 9am on May 14th # |

    Welcome to Vidoop, Chris :) Looking forward to seeing what comes out of DiSo now that you’ll have more time to play with it.

  20. at 3pm on May 15th # |

    Congratulations. Hopefully we will get to do something together as it relates the enterprise side of things.

    What does this development mean for your citizen agency work?

  21. Mike Jones said
    at 4pm on May 15th # |

    Congratulations Chris!

    — Mike

  22. at 6pm on May 15th # |

    Congratulations Chris, and awesome to hear that DiSo is (effectively) getting some corporate backing. Paying those bills is important, and I’m sure with you guys at the helm the project will start gathering some (more) momentum and direction.

    I look forward to (trying to) keeping up with it all.

  23. Phil Wolff said
    at 12am on May 16th # |

    Mazel Tov, Chris!

  24. Awed Job said
    at 8am on May 19th # |

    Thank goodness you are working on this and that I found DiSo. I’m a humble artist who knows just enough html to get by. Ever since the annihilation of a much-loved social network, http://zefrank.org, my friends and I have been searching for a new home.

    After much spinning of the wheels we all realized that a bunch of creative types just didn’t have the skill set to do it on our own. We are looking to recapture the environment of praise, sharing and collaboration. We need to avoid the single point of failure that doomed us on “the ORG”.

    With something like DiSo, it seems like we can mix up our own recipe that suits our pallets.

    What can I do to help?

  25. at 6am on May 21st # |

    Wow — cool. Just reading this and very pumped for you and the DiSo movement.

  26. Paul Kim said
    at 9pm on May 22nd # |

    Hey Chris: congrats! Best of luck to you and Kveton at Vidoop.

  27. mike whalen said
    at 2pm on May 24th # |

    Congratulations. Go change the internet world. Mike

  28. luke dorny said
    at 9pm on May 27th # |

    Congratulations, Chris.
    This is exactly the type of work that you excel at. Great job.

7 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Chris’s Blog [...]

  2. [...] I?m joining Vidoop to work on DiSo full time (tags: citizen-centric web digital identity microformats open source technology building what i do work diso oauth openid vidoop xrds-simple) [...]

  3. [...] Chris’s post [...]

  4. [...] Messina posted some of his thoughts about his new gig, highlighting: Working full time on this means that Will and I should be able to make much more progress, much more quickly, and to work with other projects and representatives from efforts like Drupal, BuddyPress and MovableType to get interop happening (eventually) between each project’s implementation. [...]

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  7. [...] Trotz dieser kleinen Fehler merkt man, dass sich Will Norris für diese Version sehr viel Zeit (die er sicherlich auch hatte) genommen hat und ich bin sehr gespannt auf die fertige [...]