I was there in 2002. I had a press pass… not a blogger, just an Isthmus correspondent looking for the people side of tech. And there were the Cluetrainiacs, all in one place. I told David Weinberger that networks were smart and it’s a good thing, and he was gracious about it. I still think that. I agree with Richard Bennett more than I’ll allow him to know. Doc was there and I had just read his OSCON presentation and he disappointed me by giving it again. I remember blogging about my disappointment, but if Doc read it, he ignored it. Elliot Noss was at dinner that night. Others at the table included Esthr and Doc. Everyone was laughing a lot! Esthr made small talk later about monetizing elevator rides. I don’t know if she was joking.
Kevin Dougherty was there. Denise Howell. Chris. AKMA. Phil Windley. Andre Durand. Eric Norlin. That meeting convinced me of the value of showing up. These people are really brilliant, they are gracious, cordial and engaged — and some of them are funny as hell.
Digital ID continues to linger out there on the fringes of standardization. Beth was at a vendor thing in King of Prussia, PA last week and she heard a couple of major geeks talking about how the net outdid brick and mortar last year at christmas time. Could be an exageration… but the fact is that cyber-sales are going vertical, while mall merchandisers continue to struggle for a profit margin and modest increase in revenue, quarter by quarter.
So what about anonymity? Knock yourself out. I can dig-it if you have ideas to share that twist you into such a conflicted space that you’re afraid of the fall-out. Or maybe you simply have a few kinks to work out. Or a schiz-twist that requires you to come on like a young guy with purple spikes when you’re actually 58, fat, bald, and a closet fan of the vocal stylings of the Moron Tab and Apple Choir. Anonymity rulz. But underneath every pseudonym there’s a real person wanting to score a bargain on eBay, and the whole Dig ID thing gets back to transactions, assertion, authentication, security. So those issues will be resolved, including a cyber-cloak of absolute privacy, when an outfit like Visa International steps up and looks the bandwidth vendors straight in the eye and says “Monetize this.” The answer, like petabyte data transport, is really simple and really massive.