Saturday, December 18, 2010

Abstract Thoughts on "Information Friction"

The problem appears to be growing worse! Information Technology is becoming like a silicon spray reducing Information Friction to the lowest levels ever. The issue is simply that it is easier than ever to accumulate vast amounts of information and distribute it globally and instantly with little effort. The consequences of the reduction in Information Friction, are both positive and negative. The dilemma is that while individuals are pleased to give up their information to a specific organisation for a specific gain, the organisations do not always keep their side of the bargain. On the other hand the more Enterprises are intent on keeping information restricted, the more valuable it is for Insiders to share it, with the resulting phenomena of Insider Senioritisation

As was recently identified by the ISSA in their chaired by David Blunkett at the Houses of Parliament and commented upon in David Lacey's Blog; The world needs much more innovation in Information Security. Perhaps it is time to look to the Jericho Forum Command,emts for inspiration; how might they suggest we should approach putting the friction back into Information Flow, and who should be in control of the lever that applies said friction?

I will be researching these questions in my work on Next Generation Identity (or should that be Access?) Management for the Leading Edge Forum

I am very interested to hear from those who has some ideas.

The main three problems
Behaviour Change, Behaviour Change, and Behaviour Change as it is truly "all about them" where "them" are the users!

How does one mke it :
Harder to accumulate large amounts of information
Tougher to deny ignorance of knowledge
More difficult to distribute large amounts that your are not supposed to have

In short how can we put the Resource Owner in charge of the resource. nigh on in real time

UNDER CONSTRUCTION, but feedback welcome

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

FaceBook & Privacy

I hate how FaceBook thinks that people's actions are theirs to share!!!
"Adrius, Who's Missing?
Willie, Freda and Hollie have tried the
automatic Friend Finder and found out."

Funny how I know the three of them. This is FaceBook basically "telling" me that they are inconsiderate individuals who think that sharing the contents of their address book with FaceBook is not a Privacy issue.

I bet they thought that they were doing it quietly.... you know under the radar such luck folks!!!

"FaceBook sneaked on you!!!"

At least I didn't post your photos here... like FaceBook did, to make it really clear WHO was being inconsiderate!!!

Doh! I bet you suspect I just made the same mistake as FaceBook....

Actually, I changed the names to protect the innocent, I mean inconsiderate!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Where do I interact on the web?

No, seriously! Where? This morning I awoke with a nagging thought that somewhere on the web, I was in the middle of a conversation, in fact, a number of conversations. Clearly by losing track of these conversations, I was potentially being rude, but worse wasting my time and the time of others! Then it struck me that is one of the meanings of "weak ties", not only do the "weak ties" relate to the strength of the link between individuals, it can relate to the strength of the link between an individual and the application or service in which they start a conversation. Ultimately, it relates to the weak ties between an individual and the conversations that are started, What has this to do with the Jericho Forum? I have only just realised that Deperimeterisation is a much broader force being caused by the inexorable evolution of the world wide web, than I had previously grasped. A force very strongly related to that word I can never remember but happily have for this blog: ENTROPY! It does NOT just relate to an Enterprise or Organisation, the force can and does apply to a much broader set of domains. Some examples that are broader than Organisational Deperimeterisation:
Individual Deperimeterisation
The result or implications of information boundaries dissolving around an individual.
Geographic Deperimeterisation
The result or implications of information boundaries dissolving around specific geographic areas (Home, City, County, Country, group of Nations)
Conceptual Deperimeterisation
The result or implications of information boundaries dissolving around Trusted Concept Containers.
News Deperimeterisation
The result or implications of information boundaries dissolving around Trusted News Containers.
What are concept or news containers?
I can answer what they used to be, in their perimeterised form, much more easily than describing their evolving future !
Encyclopaedia Britannica was an old example of a concept container that could be trusted. They are exemplified by a number of old style "publications": Books, Peer Reviewed Papers, Magazines
Whereas News Containers or the recording of current history is also easier to exemplify in their perimetrised form. The Times or the Washington Post being two examples of perimeterised News Containers. Julian Assange's WikiLeaks being an example of an evolving deperimetrised news container?
(Read Stephen Moss article in G2 14.07.10 Darn that's one of those perimeterised containers, so you will find it hard!)
Deperimerisation is occurring across MANY domains simultaneously, we are in a massive transition!
I don't envy the lawmakers as they try and legislate for this change.
So finally back to my realisation that my conversations were being deperimeterised. I have come to understand that my deperimeterised conversations are not solely my responsibility! Which is certainly not where I started this blog. For such is the power of weak ties, it brings such things as concepts together good ideas naturally clump! So conversations that are important will take on a life of their own, though I have a sneaking suspension that another force is at work in this space that lowers the tone and import of conversations. So an important question for our future will also be: In a deperimeterised world how will we keep avoid sinking to the lowest common denominator. That has always been a challenge for humanity. SO I must own the type and level of conversations I join in.
Thus our challenge as Human Beings is to BE the concept! But that still leaves me with this nagging doubt that I am part way through many conversations, but there-in lies the power of "Weak Ties!" It's perhaps part of the reason I will be drawn back to them, for like all good weak forces they work over tremendous distances!!! Considering the different types of Deperimeterisation, each of the types have different implications that need to be handled by the relevant "authorities"???
But hold on isn't Authority being deperimeterised also? Yes, but that is a topic bigger than this blog!

.... Come to think of it Lawmaking is being deperimeterised also, what will THAT mean?

In the meantime, how can I better manage my virtual conversations?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It is NOT all about the devices and the Networks!

It's actually about connecting the right people, groups, and enterprises to the appropriate data, informs, knogs and services! It's ages since I've seen or heard those words. For the life of me I cannot remember who wrote them. It wouldn't surprise me to find that it was something to do with Index, and the folks surrounding Michael Hammer. But Google has let me down, I only get stuff about a cycling or a Spanish radio station! Back then we had the idea of knowledge management; the hierarchy of data, informs and knogs were clear (informs are units of information, where-as knogs are units of knowledge, often described as all the elements needed to make a fundamental decision), services were still hazy back then too! The problem was that we hadn't really figured out that the devices and networks were crucial foundation pieces. Knowledge Management on a "green screen" in a data center didn't really hack it. However, now that we have the devices and the networks largely in place, that should allow us to start thinking again about moving our application development thinking from the application or silo mode of IT to the knog and service mode. So, why do we seem to be stuck in the old frame. Many moons ago I was introduced to a concept called "soup". Does anyone remember the Apple Newton? It was trying to be a ubiquitous device that could connect people to knogs. It failed for a number of reasons, not least the jokey battery life, and its inappropriate focus on handwriting recognition, heck!, I can't even read my own handwriting! What it DID have was this concept of a "soup" that applications and services could dip into, create and manipulate. At least, that's what I hoped it was, until I watched how the app developers turned the knogs back into their own, proprietary like, stagnant ponds of stunted and partially formed knogs. Of course it's easier to write apps when only your app needs to understand its own data. The very idea of every app being able to, or needing to understand all data is clearly ludicrous, but surely every app should understand data relevant to all apps like it, or similar. Why do developers insist on storing data that only their apps can understand. Oh, wait a minute you don't mean that they do it for app or vendor lock in purposes do you...Or is there another reason?? I guess they just don't understand the power of the Ocean! For the "Ocean" is a new mega collection of Soups, and is far more powerful, and for that matter far more primeval! Especially as this new huge Ocean is growing a set of Informs that are increasingly described by RDFa, that can be accessed by these huge new and ever expanding Social Groups that could be described by FoaF. I don't have Martin Birbecks dream of having ever more people writing apps, I just want the ones that do, to write apps that understand the Ocean of Informs and can connect to the ever expannding Social Groups. (Assuming of course we don't all lock ourselves into FaceBook.) There are solutions that are starting to be populated in this emerging Semantic Layer by knogs described in RDFa and People described by FoAF. (Perhaps Diaspora will show the way?)

Now all we have to do is help folks make the shift.... Doh!!! I just realised that quite apart from the new application development mind set we need to engender, we can't yet make the shift, as there IS still another layer needed above the Devices & Networks, and above the Semantic Layer, before we can start connecting the People & Knogs. A ubiquitous Entitlement Layer, for it is a MUST, as that would be the bit that made the initial statement possible. As it did not read connecting ANY people, groups, and enterprises to ANY data, informs knogs and services!

This reminds me of a Vison I once helped write:

Extend Human Capability and
Promote Global Collaboration by
Providing Continual Natural Access to
People and Knowledge

It should have read:

Extend Human Capability and
Promote Global Collaboration by
Providing Continual Natural Access by the right
People to the appropriate Knowledge

But I was younger back then, and a lot less wise....

.. but I am still not yet wise enough to wave a magic wand and have ubiquitous autonomous knogs in play today!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Unclean!, Unclean!, Unclean!

There is something very wrong with the currently proposed legislation, which focuses on the actions of the citizens at the end of the digital pipe. The greater crimes, being enabled by the ISP's, are not those being focused on by the special interest groups.

Let's jump back in time to a famous water pump near a London Pub, this particular pump was contaminated with the Cholera bacterium and was killing off the citizens of London. If the currently proposed approach were to have been taken in 1854, then those that had caught Cholera from the Broad Street pump would have been denied the right to take further water from the pump. Clearly anyone not yet infected would be welcome to drink from the poisoned source. The death toll would have been horrendous!

Similarly, the flow of unclean bits is the root of the most critical problems we face on the internet, a fact that is clearly not the focus of those that would protect the wealth of the old "Publishers". Unclean bits are those bits that carry the malware, that create botnets, that steal our privacy, often our identities, and worse our wealth, but always our bandwidth! Legislation should focus on ensuring clean bits, just like the legislation of Clean Water after the Cholera Outbreak. The basic fix back in 1854 was the clearing out of the cesspools, which improved the cleanliness of the water from the pumps.

We can learn from history, the 1852 Metropolitan Water Act and "The Grand Experiment" maybe useful. Perhaps if we connect a large number of citizens to the fetid internet connections they currently enjoy, and an equal number to a connections that are "e-pure" and evaluate the results. We will come to the similar conclusion to that John Snow spent his life campaigning for, "Clean Bits are good for the citizens of cyber space"!

It is likely if we have the ISP's focus on the digital cesspools and not the activities of the citizenry, then the internet will continue to grow to be the greatest revenue generator we have ever known. It will not, however, if we try and constrain it with copyright rules designed for previous centuries. The Jericho Forum would call this thinking Macro-Perimeterisation, moving the management of information risk out into the Clouds.

The music industry should be enabling the flow of clean bits, for as figures are now showing the growth in digital music is now more than offsetting the loss of CD sales. The Featured Artists Coalition are the beginnings of moving the power and finances back to the creators and artists. The death throws of the old publishing industry and their attempt to impose their old models need to be managed with care.

Let's hope our legislators look to history for clues to solve this situation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Corners of the Cloud Cube

One interesting effect that can be observed at present is the polarisation occurring in the two extreme corners of the JF cloud cube.

In the Blue Corner characterised by the elements; Internal, Proprietary, and Perimeterised are the Infrastructure teams of many organisations who are saying
"We can do Cloud! look a Virtual server called into being in less than 5 minutes....
clever us... you don't need the outside Cloud anymore stick with us!"
(Oh and by the way the outside cloud is a scary place if you stay inside our silo you can "feel" more secure!)
These are often called Private Clouds, the US Govt G-Cloud is a prime example, watch out for the emergence of the term E-Clouds, meaning Enterprise Clouds.

In the Green Corner characterised by the elements; External, Open (Though there are still substantial remnants of Proprietary) and Deperimeterised are the advocates of Consumerisation who are saying
"The Cloud is out there!, lets use it!
Why call into being a server when you can have a service?
Imagine how easy it will be to collaborate with the outside world!"

Why does this polarisation have such a critical impact on the collaboration opportunities offered by the Cloud.
The answer is simple if too many organisations are suckered into the Blue Corner then the powerfull collaboration opportunities of the Green Corner will be killed off.
There will be less reason for External Cloud based Identity Provider Services to be launched. All the enabling services will only be viable if the larger enterprises make the move to the deperimeterised parts of the cloud. It is clearly in the interest of the current providers to keep the Cloud Private.

The unfortunate result of the growing number of Private Clouds will be that the evolutionary leap will not occur the "mud skip will crawl back into the slime and continue to rely on its gills for oxygen".
We will all need to stick in our own little corporate ponds and the progress towards freeing Information and extending human capability will be stymied once again.

Happily the power of Consumerisation will likely provide a force for change, the Customers of these silo based organisations, have a voice and they are starting to learn how to use it.