Findings of the Social Web Incubator Group

Harry Halpin, <harry a!>


November 3rd 2010

Knowledge is (Potential) Power

Walled Gardens

Knowledge may be power, but this knowledge is distributed throughout social networks of people. Without ways of building the Social Web into a first-class citizen of the Web, we will never be able to "program the social computer" to solve large-scale social problems.


After the W3C Workshop on the Future of Social Networking in Barcelona, for over a year the Social Web Incubator Group has been meeting on a weekly basis to overview the space and craft a strategy for the W3C.

The results are grim...

It's no longer the wild west...

Vincos Map 2009

Facebook is taking over

Vincos Map 2010

Our Digital Identity is as Insecure as ever

Firesheep screenshot Log-in to your favorite social networking site using passwords and cookies, and the cookie is sent over the now your identity can easily be hijacked by anyone (particularly with the Firesheep plug-in).

See the presentation

Download Firefox plug-in

There are (too many) solutions but little uptake by users

A Girl Graphic

And all this work is happening outside the W3C, and needs to be co-ordinated with the core of the Web to solve the problem of security.

  1. OAuth
  2. XRD
  4. Infocards
  5. OpenID Connect
  6. PortableContacts
  7. OpenSocial
  8. OExchange
  9. Payswarm
  10. ActivityStreams
  11. OStatus
  12. SAML
  13. Kantara Initiative

READ the Final Report

The Social Web XG's Final Report is the first (30 page) description of (more-or-less) the entire Social Web, from identity, profiles, social media, privacy, activity, and emerging work... Identity in the Browser (Aza)

  1. Investigate Identity in the Browser
  2. Co-ordinate the Core of Profile Data
  3. Combining Social Media and the Semantic Web
  4. An Over-arching Privacy Activity Focusing on the Social Web
  5. Support the Federated Social Web
  6. Open the World Wide Web Consortium

W3C will re-invigorate privacy and digital identity with new resources, hosting workshops to gather requirements for Web Identity from eGov and e-Commerce, and may start a Working Group in this area. The "Community Group" proposal implements most of the structural changes necessary to make the W3C suitable for future social web work, and the W3C will provide resources for the next round of the Federated Social Web effort as a new Community Group.