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Why Decentralized Software Is 10x Harder

The Diaspora* guys announced today: Today, we are giving control of Diaspora to the community. which has widely been interpreted as giving up on the grand vision of decentralized social networking. The remaining Diaspora team apparently (I'd guess based on advice they got from YCombinator) will focus on a more standard "we run an ad-supported…

Why AccountChooser Isn’t

In time for #CIS2012, the OpenID Foundation and Google released a new version of accountchooser.com, a set of open-source software components that, as the name indicates, lets you choose your account on the web. Except that it doesn't. Compare with a bank. Let's say I want to check my balance at my bank, the accountchooser.com…

The Best and the Worst of Times: Whence Internet Identity?

The 10th Internet Identity Workshop this week had record attendance. Since that first one, five years ago, amazing adoption has happened: pretty much all major technology companies have implemented, more than a billion identities in the market, tens of thousands of sites accept them, more people show up to IIW -- it must be the…

Let’s Implement the Open Pile! It’ll Be Great!

You are not on the bandwagon yet? You are so behind the times! Haven't you heard that the web is now social, and user-centric, your customers are in charge, they create and remix and share and rate and activity stream and manage you, the vendor, and you still haven't implemented the Open Pile! Ehm, I…

Is Social Media Decentralization the Problem or the Solution?

Mike Arrington is complaining about fragmentation of his personal media: Everything is decentralized, and no one is working to centralize stuff. I’ve got photos on Flickr, Posterous and Facebook (and even a few on MySpace), reviews on Yelp (but movie reviews on Flixster), location on Foursquare, Loopt and Gowalla, status updates on Facebook and Twitter,…