Surviving (and Thriving in) the Online Identity Wars

Joseph Smarr (Google)
Location: 2002
Average rating: ***..
(3.71, 14 ratings)

OpenID, Facebook Connect, Google FriendConnect, MySpaceID, Y!OS…it’s hard to keep track of all the recent announcements about online identity and data portability, let alone to make sense of it all and figure out what it means to you. Yet there are enormous opportunities emerging for companies large and small to turbo-charge their services by lowering sign-up friction, gaining access to more data, and virally distributing their users’ activity throughout the Social Web. In this talk, Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect at Plaxo and co-host of, will be your guide through this exciting and rapidly evolving new phase of the web, explaining in concrete terms what’s going on and how you can benefit from it today. Being intimately involved with both the major companies and grass-root standards communities, Smarr will draw upon his experiences implementing these technologies in Plaxo, explaining them to mainstream users, and advocating broadly to give users control over their data and open up the social web.

Photo of Joseph Smarr

Joseph Smarr


Joseph Smarr is a software engineer at Google, focused on socially enabling the web using open standards. Previously, he was Plaxo’s Chief Technology Officer, where he led their initiative to open up the social web, starting with co-authoring the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web in 2007. He has served of the Board of Directors of the OpenID Foundation and OpenSocial Foundation. A frequent speaker and community participant in the social networking and web development communities, Joseph has built web applications for many years. Joseph has a BS and MS from Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence. His website is, or just Google him!

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Paul May
04/10/2009 3:12am PDT

Good talk – summarised some of the developments in online identity management in the last couple of years. Even though this wasn’t a developer-focused session I think Joseph might have gone slightly deeper into some of the technicalities. That might just be my own preference though.

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