Slug: distributed-social-networkers Date: 2008-05-15 Title: Distributed Social Networkers layout: post

Yesterday the news came out that Chris Messina, my DiSo co-conspirator, and Will Norris, author of the WP-OpenID plugin, are joining Vidoop to work on DiSo full time. This is excellent news, for Chris and Will obviously, but also for the ideas and ideals that DiSo represents.

DiSo’s stated goal is to be: “an umbrella project for a group of open source implementations of these distributed social networking concepts.” At the core, DiSo represents an ideal where online “social networking” is not limited to silo sites, where you can enjoy rich interactions with others in that silo at the expense of interacting with those outside. It also means that your online social identity is not a game of tetherball - where your idenity can follow you around some, but it’s still tied to that one provider (I’m looking at you, Google).

No, in the ideal that Chris, Will, Stephen Weber, myself, and many others envision, your identity, your friends/contacts, your interactions can be managed from a space that you control - your own site. This may be a weblog - WordPress is the DiSo Project’s first platform - or some other type of site, but it’s your site. And by building components on common internet standards (Microformats, OpenID, Oauth, XMPP, etc) your home on the web can join a larger network of people, regardless of platform, including but not limited to those users in the silos.

This is a large goal - a grand scheme if you will - and it’s being built in the open, piece by piece, by a group of developers who see the larger picture and are contributing their time, knowledge, and skills. Scott Kveton is someone who has been around the Open Web block and is excited about DiSo; by bringing Chris and Scott on board, he and Vidoop are investing in an open future that is looking bright for all of us.