DiSo & The Web Citizen: Distributed Social Networking Starts Here

Location: San Diego Ballroom B Level: Intermediate

There is plenty of discussion about social network portability and breaking free of social network walled gardens, but what is actually being done? If someone wants to live “silo-free” and use / support distributed social networking technology, where do they start?

DiSo is a project founded by Steve Ivy and Chris Messina, built on top of WordPress. The project aims to explore the design of a distributed social network using many of the building blocks the blog software already supports, while leveraging technologies like XMPP and XFN for friendslist federation and message delivery.

Photo of Chris Messina

Chris Messina


Chris Messina arrived in San Francisco four years ago to begin volunteering for the Mozilla Foundation, as a leader of the Spread Firefox community marketing project. During his time with Mozilla, he helped raise over $220,000 in microdonations to put a two-page spread, which he also designed, into the New York Times helping to increase Firefox’s downloads to over 50 million in its first six months.

He went on to co-found web browser Flock and served as Director of Experience and Open Source Ambassador. Later, he co-founded Citizen Agency with Tara Hunt, and was named one of the Digital Utopians and People Who Populate Web 2.0 in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006 after his work on WineCamp.

He has spoken at numerous conferences around the world and has been quoted in national publications such as The New York Times, Business Week, LA Times, MIT Technology Review and Wired. Chris is well-known in the Web 2.0, open source, and startup worlds for his community advocacy and work on open standards initiatives like microformats, OpenID and OAuth. He is a key leader of worldwide community efforts such as Coworking and BarCamp.


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