The Open, Social Web Workshop

Emerging Topics, Web Applications
Location: Meeting Room J3
Average rating: ***..
(3.83, 12 ratings)

The greatest social network that there ever was is the web itself.

But how do you take advantage of that? How do you make it easier for people to join your site, bring their friends and profiles with them, to quickly get to the meat of your service? How can you better leverage existing technologies to facilitate the creation of new accounts, lower costs, increase engagement and get back to focusing on your core service? This workshop is designed for developers and technical managers tasked with building services for the social web, with an emphasis on the use and application of free, open building blocks for enabling social networking features on your site or service.

For developers, the focus will be on applying technologies like OpenID (authentication), OAuth (authorization), and Portable Contacts, with additional attention paid to emerging work on XRD (discovery), activity streams and feeds. Though OpenSocial and Facebook will be touched on, the priority will be on helping developers understand the different building blocks of distributed social networking and how to apply them to solve concrete, common challenges in developing for the social web.

For technical managers, an introduction to core concepts of the the social web will be provided, including how to evaluate “open” technologies, how to think about licensing and legal issues on social networks, how to get involved in the “Open Stack” communities, and a survey of common design patterns across social networks. There will also be a review of cost-saving libraries and technologies that are available for free use.

The workshop will be divided up into in-depth sessions on authentication, authorization and web service APIs, data formats and syndication, with briefings on security, legal concepts, the semantic web, and a look at open source on the social web. Attendees will leave with a strong foundation in, and understanding of, the social web, how to architect applications that take advantage of distributed social networking, how to formulate a plan for building social web services, knowledge of the various Open Stack communities and how to get involved and ultimately a clearer picture of how to integrate their web service or application into the social web on the cheap.

Photo of Chris Messina

Chris Messina


Chris Messina arrived in San Francisco in 2004 as a volunteer for the Mozilla Foundation, leading the Spread Firefox community marketing project in raising over $220,000 in microdonations to launch Firefox to a worldwide audience with an ad in the New York Times.

He went on to co-found the Flock web browser and helped to organize the first-ever BarCamp in Palo Alto in 2005. Later, he co-founded Citizen Agency with Tara Hunt, opening a shared work environment called Citizen Space, giving rise to the coworking movement.

Chris now works on DiSo, an effort that he co-founded with Steve Ivy, to facilitate the development of building blocks for the open, social web. He is also a board member of the OpenID Foundation and works part-time for Vidoop, a Portland-based provider of secure internet identity technologies.

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, OAuth and Activity Streams.

Photo of David Recordon

David Recordon


David Recordon is Open Platforms Tech Lead for Six Apart, the largest independent blogging company in the world. Recordon has played a pivotal role in the development and popularization of key social media technologies such as OpenID. In 2005, Recordon collaborated with Brad Fitzpatrick in the original development of OpenID, which has since become the most popular decentralized single-sign-on protocol in the history of the web. During a year and a half at VeriSign, Recordon played an active role in refining and evangelizing OpenID, bringing it from an experimental technology to one that’s been endorsed by major companies ranging from AOL to Microsoft, and implemented for over 120 million identities on the web. Recordon’s history with open source software and open standards stretches back to the beginning of his career, when as a sophomore in high school he volunteered his time to lead an open source message board project with over forty members worldwide. This interest led to his co-founding of a message board hosting provider that still services tens of thousands of users around the world, and that he has since sold. Recordon was recently recognized by Google and O’Reilly as the recipient of a 2007 Open Source Award for his efforts with OpenID and is the youngest recipient in the history of the award.

Photo of Joseph Smarr

Joseph Smarr


Joseph Smarr is Chief Platform Architect at Plaxo. He is currently
leading Plaxo’s “Open Social Web” initiative to put users back in
control of who they know when using socially-enabled sites by using open
data-sharing standards. An active participant in the Web 2.0 community,
Joseph has built web applications for many years, including Plaxo’s
online address book, web widgets, and was architect and lead developer
of the Plaxo 3.0 rich AJAX address book, calendar, and sync tool. Joseph
has a BS and MS from Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jason Buberel
07/23/2009 3:57pm PDT

To spend the first hour describing “What is the social web” and “What was web 2.0” was, in my opinion, far too remedial for an OSCON crowd. When it came to the details of actually implementing OpenID, it was mostly screen mockups. I came away feeling like this was something I should consider 6-12 months from now.

Picture of Andrew Oram
Andrew Oram
07/22/2009 2:13am PDT

Obviously sources of vast knowledge. They went slower than I would prefer, but I firmly believe they made the right choice, because audience questions proved that to be necessary. I would ask that they speak a little more slowly. They were clear and one could easily hear, but the concepts were complex and needed to be spaced out a little.

Picture of Luke  Crouch
Luke Crouch
07/20/2009 6:51am PDT

Good thought-provoking intro and brought up some useful and interesting topics like portable contacts and activity streams standards using OpenID and OAuth.

Picture of Irfan Ahmed
Irfan Ahmed
07/20/2009 6:24am PDT

A very good introduction to the web single sign-on concept and direction.

Jacob Modayil
07/20/2009 5:42am PDT

Excellent overview of the current state of and direction for the social web.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

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