Happy birthday to me! I’m joining Google

Google Birthday

Yes friends, I’m turning 29 and I’ve decided to go work for The Man.

;)

In all actuality, I’ve been mulling over such a move for some time, considering a number of compelling opportunities for my next step. After reviewing my options — in light of the progress I’ve made so far and my familiarity and existing relationships with the new team at Google that I’ll be working with — I came to the conclusion that Google offers me the best possible opportunity to continue my work in an environment and culture that is compatible with my outlook, goals, and work habits.

I was trained as a designer, but I’ve been involved with the tech scene since I arrived in Silicon Valley just over five years ago. In some ways, technology has reshaped the way I approach and solve problems — forcing me to think in terms of adoption strategies first, rather than always trying to find the simplest, cleanest design, because of the disadvantaged position I occupied as a non-coder. I can see the consequences of these effects on my approaches first to OAuth, and then to Activity Streams, as well as with OpenID, with positive and negative results. In some ways I’ve had to temper my designer training and put technology first in order to grow an audience. But now I’m ready for new challenges that will expand my ideas and tactics, force me to attack problems from new perspectives, and dip into my design thinking repertoire to operate at a whole new level.

Though I consistently aim high, I want more success in turning my ideas into tangible outcomes, and in doing so, prove the power that I see in open, interoperable standards that can make the web a richer and more intricately spun space.

In some ways, I’m still just getting started with my work.  In joining Google, I see the chance to have a greater impact than I might otherwise on my own. That said, I won’t lose track of what intrinsically motivates me — that I’ve always been about spreading the benefits of the web by creating technology that  fosters innovation and choice. And there’s where I see alignment with what I’ve been doing, and what Google needs to succeed. In fact, my new title at Google? The same one I independently gave myself a year ago: “Open Web Advocate”.

In this role, I’ll still be an active community board member of the OpenID and Open Web Foundations; I hope to help push the Activity Streams project forward with a 1.0 release of the spec soon. And I’m still hopeful about the future of my our semi-neglected and half dormant Diso Project! I’ll also soon be publishing the results of my collaboration with Mozilla Labs, which will provide some insight into what social networking in the browser might look like, and how OpenID Connect might play a role in it.

For good measure, I should also point out that my good friend and colleague Joseph Smarr also made a similar decision recently  — unbeknownst to me at the time! —  and announced that he’ll be joining Google later this month as well.

So, net-net, I’m stoked to be joining The Man Google, and very thankful to have had as much support from the many, many people with whom I’ve connected through the synapses of the social web over these past several years. This is of course a very happy birthday present for me, and I’m eagerly anticipating what’s next for the open social web in 2010…! This can all still be made better. Ready? Begin.

Feel free to leave a comment here, or get in touch via email.

Update: here’s the latest theSocialWeb.tv episode where I make my announcement:

107 Comments

  1. at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    Yay! Looking forward to it~

  2. Kaliya said
    at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris,

    This is a great for the open web. I have been impressed by google’s articulation of what open means this fall and agree there is alignment with the open vision.

    Google lost Kevin Marks earlier this year and it looks like they are making up for the loss by bringing in two good community leaders with you and Joseph.

    I look forward to working with you in fostering more community of end users and figuring out how all these fun technology tools can be used by “real people”. There is much to do.

    :) Kaliya

  3. at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    W00T! Welcome Chris!

  4. at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    Glad to have you joining the crew here at Google!

  5. at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    Have fun at the Goog. Hope you got factoryjoe692@google.com. :)

  6. Daniel Raffel said
    at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats, Chris! Look forward to plenty more enjoyable conversations now man to man. ;)

  7. at 1am on Jan 7th # |

    congrats and happy bday !

  8. at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats on both! Have fun over there.

  9. Phil Wolff said
    at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    All this time you’ve been changing the world as an outsider. Can’t imagine what’s in store once you have the institutional power of the largest, most profitable, most Influential Internet company in the universe at your back.

    Just remember what Peter Parker’s Gramps said: With great power…

    Mazel Tov and have fun storming the castle.

  10. Kazuhito said
    at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    Wow congrats! Enjoy working with nice people at G.

  11. Sam Sethi said
    at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris look forward to seeing you do great things. I hope Google give you the freedom to innovate along with Joseph.

  12. at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    Happy Birthday!

    We’re terribly excited to have you join us & looking forward to making 2010 the year of the open & social web!

  13. at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    Happy birthday and congrats for this great opportunity!

    This is a great move for the Open Web. So many things can happen in 2010.

  14. at 2am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats on the new gig! I am sure you will continue todo great things.

  15. at 3am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations, Chris!

    This is wonderful news. I am happy for you as well as for all of us who are passionate about the Open Web.

    Best of luck!

  16. at 3am on Jan 7th # |

    congratulations chris, twice this is! guess this screams for some french wine then ;-)

  17. Georgi said
    at 3am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats!!!
    also a happy bday and all best wishes!

  18. Thejesh GN said
    at 3am on Jan 7th # |

    Great. All the very best.

  19. at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris and Google! Happy to hear you have found a new platform to push the change.

  20. at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats! Can you schedule some weekend getaways to Brazil now? ;) I am based there until July 2010.

  21. at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    Wow, this is huge Chris, congratulations (and happy birthday!). With you and Joseph as recent hires over there, Google are really “acquiring the Open Web” — hopefully with some muscle (financial, chronological, technological, mental, etc) behind it you guys can keep innovating and really push things forward. Excited to see where this goes, because I know you’re all very strong-willed, intelligent folks, dedicated to seeing the Open Web play out in the “right” (truly open) way. Congrats again.

  22. at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    Sweet! Happy Birthday, man! (Also, 29?! When did *that* happen?)

    That’s one heck of a team you guys will have at GOOG. This is going to make for an exciting year for sure! Here’s hoping we can still collaborate with you inside the borg. ;-)

    Congrats!

  23. at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris – looking forward to see what you end up doing at Google… you’re definitely in the right place to make a difference and I can associate with “I see the chance to have a greater impact than I might otherwise on my own”.

  24. Stowe Boyd said
    at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    Great news, bro. Let’s catch up soon, and you can fill me in.

  25. Don Thibeau said
    at 4am on Jan 7th # |

    This is great news. For Chris is gives him a broader canvass to paint on, for Google more horsepower in web identity and for the OpenID Foundation goodness all around. Congradulations and look forward to working with you in 2010.

  26. rabble said
    at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations!

  27. Zee said
    at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    Awesome news. A million and one congratulations Chris.

  28. at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    w00t! Sounds awesome. Congrats :)

  29. Joe Hobot said
    at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris, btw you are working for 2 MAN :) not The Man….

    By the way how did you like interviews? hahaha I find them humorous.

  30. at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    Big move, congrats!

  31. Steve Ganz said
    at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats and Happy Birthday, Chris!

  32. David Glazer said
    at 5am on Jan 7th # |

    I’m excited Chris! Looking forward to working together …

  33. Bryan Zug said
    at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats chris. Keep ‘em honest. Your work touches many of us in ways you will never know. Deep shalom as you continue in it.

  34. Cody Simms said
    at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations, Chris! Looking forward to continued dialogue!

  35. at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats (and Happy Birthday) Chris! This is a great catch by GOOG, and I think a very good fit. Wishing you and the social team at Google all the best!

  36. at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris!

    I’m expecting to hear great things from you!

    ps. it’s my birthday too (albeit I’m a tiny bit older) :-)

  37. at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats and Happy Birthday Chris. Good luck on the new job.

  38. at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Happy birthday, and congrats on the new job! Great for you, great for Google, great for us.

    Personal wish: Make a format for attention data, everything from shopping habits, browser history, via training (Nike+, RunKeeper and all those apps) to geoapps like FourSquare, Brightkite and Gowalla. I want my data – and in a nice format.

  39. Brian Del Vecchio said
    at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Gratz, and happy birthday, Chris!

  40. at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris!

  41. at 6am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris…great move!!

  42. at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats bro and Happy Birthday!

  43. bruce said
    at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations, Chris.

    Hopefully we might even bump into each other at some event or other, and I’ll get a you a birthday/ New Job beer.

    bruce

  44. at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Activitydrea.ms !

  45. at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Glad you decided to join! :-)

  46. at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Google (and Chris)! Happy birthday and good luck!

    Having just read Weiner and Scoble’s notion of the Google reef, my thought was that they just aren’t doing enough to surface that reef. Bringing you on sounds like a great move in the right direction!

  47. Josh elman said
    at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Way to go Chris! Looking forward to working together even more!

  48. Paul Kim said
    at 7am on Jan 7th # |

    Big news! Good luck and congratulations Chris.

  49. Adam Hertz said
    at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Chris, congratulations!!

  50. Ryan Kuder said
    at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations, Chris. Big win for Google. (And happy birthday.)

  51. at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats! Should be a very good move!

  52. Cat Allman said
    at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Happy Birthday and Welcome to Google!

    See you around the office.

  53. at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Mazel tov Chris. That’s great news for you and the open web. And Google too.

  54. at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations on the move, Chris. Looking forward to what you’ll accomplish at Google.

  55. Patrick Chanezon said
    at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Welcome to the team Chris, we’re feeling lucky to see you join!
    As you note, for many of us you were already part of the team, as one of the most active OpenWeb advocates.
    Happy birthday to you.

  56. vanderwal said
    at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations on the joining Google, it sounds like a great match.

  57. xian said
    at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    good on you, Chris! and good for Google for making you an offer you couldn’t refuse. Keep ‘em honest and as non-evil as possible!

  58. at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Chris,
    I wish you all the best on this! Great to know Google is getting someone so committed to the community.

  59. at 8am on Jan 7th # |

    Happy Birthday Chris! Awesome announcement! Congratulations on starting 2010 off with a bang! Cheers! Stef

  60. at 9am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats and cheers! What an awesome way to begin the New Year. Happy Birthday and all the best,

  61. at 9am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris! As you advocate for the open web, I also hope you continue to advocate the advantages of coworking and collaborative communities. Let’s plan on meeting up at SXSW so we can officially toast this next chapter in your life. Don’t be evil :)

  62. AnaRC said
    at 9am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris! we were born on the same day, just a few years apart!! I can’t believe I’m so old!!
    You deserve this great opportunity. Bravo

  63. kareem said
    at 9am on Jan 7th # |

    congrats Chris, sounds like a great move for you :)

  64. at 9am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris on your new role. We enjoyed your article you wrote for us on MIX Online (http://visitmix.com/Articles/View-source-has-a-posse) and although Google and Microsoft don’t always see eye-to-eye, we look forward to working with you in your new role.

    Congratulations again and look forward to your work on keeping the web open.

  65. at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    What a day for you ;-) congrats!

  66. at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats. Looking forward to big things to come with open id.

  67. at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris — Google is awesome at being open but with you there I can imagine Open Standards will get a lot more attractive, usable and cohesive.

  68. gandalf said
    at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    Happy Birthday Chris! I was actually viewing your fb profile and thinking if I should put wishes on your wall, but since it was empty (dumb me forgot about the time zone diff) I thought maybe you don’t like wishes on FB ;)

    Anyway. Happy bday and congratulations! I’ll make my sad emoticon just because I wished you’ll stay with us, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll have a lot of fun at Google and you’ll strengthen their moral backbone even further :)

  69. Gorm Haug Eriksen said
    at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations and happy birthday! Your work is inspiring and looking forward to see more.

  70. at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    Google is lucky to have you, congratulations!

  71. at 10am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats and welcome!

  72. ryan boyd said
    at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris – looking forward to working with you!

  73. Ericg said
    at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris! And Happy Birthday :).

  74. Ty said
    at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    I have to admit, I’m disappointed, and surprised no one else here voiced the same reaction. But you seem happy with this decision, so that is what matters. Congrats.

  75. at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris! Google is getting all the best minds it seems!

  76. at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris! Hope 2010 is a great year for you ;)

  77. at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Chris – huge, huge congrats AND Happy Birthday! You are a true powerhouse. Will you be at SXSW again?

  78. at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris, looking forward to working with you.

  79. Joe said
    at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Yay!

  80. at 11am on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats! I am 2 days older than you. :)

  81. goofydg1 said
    at 12pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats. I use a ton of Google tools. Glad to see them stepping into opensource territory.

  82. at 12pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations! It’s a perfect fit for you, and a good team.

    What’s next? Marriage and kids? :-)

  83. at 12pm on Jan 7th # |

    Wow, congratulations, Chris! Enjoy. :-)

  84. at 1pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats, Chris.

  85. Ray Valdes said
    at 2pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats, Chris, keep up the great work!

  86. at 2pm on Jan 7th # |

    Am I the only one who is shocked to discover Chris is 29?

  87. alberto said
    at 2pm on Jan 7th # |

    Auguri!

  88. Allen Tom said
    at 2pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris! Looking forward to seeing you continue to make huge contributions to the Open Web in your néw role at Google! BTW – when can we log in to Google with OpenID?

  89. at 3pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris! Hope you continue the momentum you kicked off in Europe. It’d be great to have you out again.

  90. at 3pm on Jan 7th # |

    Happy Birthday!

  91. at 3pm on Jan 7th # |

    Awesome news, Chris. Looking forward to more great things.

  92. Richard said
    at 4pm on Jan 7th # |

    I thought it was Peter’s uncle?

  93. at 5pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congratulations Chris! Really looking forward to seeing the interesting stuff you’ll be pioneering at Google.

  94. at 5pm on Jan 7th # |

    Chris, I do see this as a good fit.

    I would like to share with you the work i was doing on “Red Rover” just before I left LA and MySpace.

    I am now at Unity and I have a use for Red Rover as I am working on an identity solution for the Unity Developer community.

  95. Dan York said
    at 9pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats, Chris! Looking forward to seeing how you use the power of Google to help us continue to build the open, distributed and decentralized Internet. Good move.

  96. at 9pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris! A nice Gift(responsibility) you got for your Bday..

  97. at 9pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris, You’ve got a wonderful gift(responsibility as well) for your Bday as well

  98. at 11pm on Jan 7th # |

    Congrats Chris.

  99. at 1am on Jan 8th # |

    Congrats Chris.

  100. Steffen said
    at 2am on Jan 8th # |

    Congratulations, Chris! A big WIN for both of you, I think.

  101. at 3am on Jan 8th # |

    I’m impressed at how many people reacted to that news—and to how few pointed at “the Man”; time for celebration, indeed. It’s great news—Is Brad F. somewhere? Brad: you seem to be doing wonders.

    I remember how down you felt a year ago in Paris: 209 was sweat to you. Please, please, tell me that, will the Man behind you, DiSo will be back up… I have a paper to recycle about DiSo, and I can’t get my head around Wrap.

  102. at 2pm on Jan 9th # |

    Congratulations, Chris — We need you at Google. Many happy returns as well! 29 is a good age to be for the rest of your life.

  103. at 12am on Jan 11th # |

    This is great news. Congrats and happy birthday Chris. I hope that with the additions of yourself and Joseph that Google is ready to really push forward on the open web. I’m also really looking forward to Activity Streams continuing march forward and the release of the 1.0 spec. I wish you the best moving forward.

  104. Ari Herzog said
    at 5pm on Jan 20th # |

    Echoing the bandwagon, congrats on the good news, Chris. I look forward to your progressing thoughts.

  105. mi said
    at 1pm on Mar 15th # |

    Dangerous?, your talent should not become a religion, not flee from themselves. Congratulations.

  106. Sohbet said
    at 10am on May 1st # |

    Congratulations, Chris — We need you at Google. Many happy returns as well! 29 is a good age to be for the rest of your life.

  107. LR said
    at 4am on May 26th # |

    Congratulations to you a little bit later

16 Trackbacks

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