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.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

35 thoughts on “I’m joining Vidoop to work on DiSo full time”

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

  2. 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”. 🙂

  3. @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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?


  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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!

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

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. Congratulations. Go change the internet world. Mike

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