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The open source ecosystem operates at human scale, and yet the most popular social networks today are mammoths, where an open source citizen has limited agency with little to no ability to change her environment. Furthermore, efforts like OpenSocial serve to further limit what independents can build outside of the major networks, culminating in a threat the very essence of what makes the open/open source community thrive: choice and marketplace competition guaranteed through the ability to fork.
In this talk, I will look at how the DiSo Project is intending to address this situation, and to catalog some of the successes that we've found with OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts and Activity Streams, while also identifying some of the lingering challenges and rhetorical issues with efforts such as OpenSocial that beg the question: what really does an *open, social* network look like? And what freedoms should it guarantee?
As a co-founder of BarCamp and coworking, I've strived to create simple, reusable, social technologies that are freely available to be mixed and matched and reinterpreted. With the future of the open web at stake, what can we do to ensure that it does remains free and open?
17th–19th June 2009