Where Did I Leave My Keys?

There’s an interesting storm a-brewing regarding who will own the key to your online identity.  In the last couple of days, both Facebook and Google have made announcements where their respective online ID systems can be now used to log into other websites.  (For example, you could use your Facebook login to log in to NYTimes.com, or you could use your Google login as the key to your eBay account, hypothetically speaking.)

A bit of context, then a poll at the bottom.

  • Mashable on Facebook:"Facebook Connect is now open for business,
    allowing any developer to let users login to their websites using their
    Facebook credentials. Additionally, other key Facebook features, like
    your friends list, can now be integrated into third-party applications,
    which can in turn send data back into Facebook and the News Feed."
  • Mashable on Google: "Google Friend Connect, the company’s identity management offering for developers, is now
    available for anyone to signup without waiting to be whitelisted.
    Similar to Facebook Connect and MySpace Data Availability, the basic
    premise is that you can login with your Google (or Yahoo, AIM, OpenID)
    credentials on third-party applications without signing up for a
    separate account."
  • TechCrunch on Facebook: "Not an hour after Google announced the general availability
    of Friend Connect, Facebook is doing the same for its competing
    Facebook Connect service. Now any third party website that wants to
    pull personal data about visitors from Facebook – and send back
    activity reports to their news feeds – can do so by first filling out a
    self-service application"
  • TechCrunch on Google: "The battle over who will control
    access to your online identity is heating up. In the wake of more and
    more partners finally starting to take a shine to Facebook’s competing
    FB Connect (which we just implemented on Techcrunch), Google’s Friend Connect
    is now in an open beta. Before it was in a limited preview release, but
    now any website can add Google Friend Connect as a login option."

In addition to Facebook and Google, a project called OpenID is also adressing similar issues. [UPDATE:  Kevin Marks from Google noted that, for clarity, Friend Connect can accept either a Google ID or an OpenID.  So, if you have OpenID, you can use Friend Connect as well.]

(If you can’t see the poll, please click here to participate.)

I’ll let this run for a bit, and share the responses at the end of the week.  If you have thoughts on this sort of "linking of identities" across sites, leave them in the comments.  Very interested in hearing what folks think about this.

photo: grwal

Take Change.gov With You Anywhere

You can take it with you…Change.gov is now iPhone, mobile and widget-enabled.  (You can even put it on your iGoogle start page.)

Yesterday, a post appeared on Change.gov, the website of the Obama administration’s transition team.

"President-elect Obama has championed the creation of a more open, transparent, and participatory government.  To that end, Change.gov adopted a new copyright policy: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License:
this weekend. In an effort to create a vibrant and open public
conversation about the Obama-Biden Transition Project, all website
content now falls under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

‘Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Content
includes all materials posted by the Obama-Biden Transition project.
Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable,
royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to
Change.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.’

Copyright Professor and blogger James Grimmelmann explains what this means:

‘Talk about doing the right thing. Now the collaborative
power of Change.gov isn’t limited by what the transition team itself is
able to enable. Anyone can take the policy points and discussions from
the site and create their own remix or branch of it. This is a very
good sign of the transition team’s attitude towards their task. It’s
also a good license choice. Attribution 3.0 is the Barack Obama of CC
licenses: modern, dignified, generous, and tolerant.’

Professor Lawrence Lessig
also commented on his blog, noting the complexity of working through
such issues: “This is great news about a subject that’s harder than it

This opening up of the content on Change.gov has the stated intent that "anyone can take the policy points and discussions from the site and create their own remix or branch of it."  Here’s what a few other folks had to say:

  • Politico – "The Obama transition made a subtle, but dramatic, change to its
    intellectual property licensing yesterday, and the groups pushing for
    freer use of content on the Internet are releasing a letter this morning requesting two more changes to the way the transition is handling its online content."
  • ReadWriteWeb – "This act of support for progressive intellectual property policy is big news, but it also makes us wonder – what’s next?"
  • Joi Ito – "I know the transition team is super-busy right now with very important
    things and I’m very thankful that they had the time and the will to pay
    attention to this kind of important detail."

Thanks to this important step by the administration, we were able to create both mobile and widget versions of the site using Cerado Ventana.

IPhone version (You can get the iPhone and other mobile versions here)


Widget version (You can get the widget here)


What does this mean?  It means the following:

When (technology + information + inspiration) are allowed to work together, astounding things can happen in the blink of an eye. Innovation can happen, anywhere, at near-instantaneous speed.

Thank you again to the Obama administration for opening up Change.gov with Creative Commons to make this possible, and thanks to everyone here on the team.  You have been building killer technology, and have enabled us to create this new conduit for citizens and government to connect.

Black Friday on your iPhone, Blog or Start Page


Had the good fortune to have coffee last week with Shashi Bellamkonda from Network Solutions and Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications when they were out here in the Bay Area.  As part of the conversation, we came up with the idea of seeing if we could pull together a useful tool for customers who were trying to get their holiday deal planning together.  After bouncing around a couple of ideas, we ended up putting together a plan to create an iPhone app and web widget using Cerado Ventana.  Success!  It shows both the deals, as well as the Twitter buzz about Black Friday (click on the "buzz" link to see it).

Dave Jeyes had some nice things to say about the iPhone version here.  (And here’s a link to the iPhone version directly, at http://bffeed.com.)

Here’s the widget itself, if you want to use it online as well.


One thing that is super cool is that it’s only two clicks to add this to an iGoogle start page.  Just click on the "Get Widget" link above, then click on the big "G" – super easy.

The Grand Intrusion

On November 6,  Azadeh Ensha wrote in the New York Times:

"Web telemarketers don’t take aim at just your e-mail
account. In order to block pop-up and banner ads when surfing the
Internet, download the Firefox browser from http://firefox.com, then download (mozillaaddons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865). Also be sure to enable Firefox’s built-in pop-up blocker (also available on Apple’s Safari browser and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8) to take care of sneakier ads.

if all of the above fails, turn off your TV, shut down your desktop and
pick up a book. Advertisers haven’t cornered that market — yet."

Today, Randall Rothenberg, President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, responded in the Times in kind:

"To the Editor:

Re “Tactics That Tame Intrusive Advertising” (Business Day, Nov. 6):

online banner ads that you recommend blocking with browser add-ons pay
for the free content on the Web — the e-mail accounts, video shorts,
interactive election maps and myriad other new forms that entertain and
inform our citizenry.

Moreover, these ads help companies grow, something everyone ought to be concerned about as we head into a recession.

Randall Rothenberg
President and Chief Executive
Interactive Advertising Bureau
New York, Nov. 6, 2008"

Randall, time to start either (a) working on your business model; or (b) make the things that you put in the "ad" spaces on the web engaging, not intrusive.

Go-Go (CRM) Gadgets!

Continuing further in the direction shown at OpenWorld last month, Oracle has released a number of "gadgets" that allow customers of their CRM products to access information from a multitude of locations.  Currently, five gadgets are available:

  • Top accounts
  • Prospects
  • Top deals
  • My quota / My forecast
  • Custom Search

Check out a few of the gadgets here:



V1_contactgadget      V1_topaccounts

According to Mark Woollen (Oracle’s VP of Social CRM Applications) and Dipock Das (their Sr. Director of CRM Innovation), the gadgets will work with multiple versions of Siebel and OnDemand, and are built on a common code set with REST-style integration.  The gadgets must be installed locally on the user’s machine, and are only available for desktop-deployment (Windows, Mac, Linux) at the current time.

About 20 of Oracle’s customers (e.g. Nokia and Motorola) are beta-testing these gadgets.

While another good step forward, what I’m chomping at the bit to see is connection and convergence with other innovative things that Oracle has been doing like the Body Shop proof-of-concept that was shown at OpenWorld.  Continuance down that path will continue to evolve CRM into something that is much more VRM-like.  That’s where the great stuff lies.



Our friends over at the EcSell Institute are putting together a very interesting summit for individuals on the business side of the customer relationship, focused entirely on the issues and challenges faced by the executive and management level of sales.  The 2009 EcSell Institute Summit will be in Phoenix on February 2-4, 2009.

Here’s the agenda.

Here are the speaker bios.

Here’s the registration link.

We’ve arranged a $500 discount for friends of Cerado; use PROMO CODE EC01 when registering to get the Cerado discount.


Was great to meet Jim McGee at the Social Media Strategies conference last week.  One great thing that came out of Jim’s presentation was a discussion of the Virgina Satir Change Model for organizational change.  The theory in a nutshell:

  • Things are plodding along within an organization or community
  • There is a "foreign object" (e.g. a new thought, or participant, or strategy) introduced into the organization
  • Things get chaotic while the community figures out how to deal with the new
  • There is a transformational thought, a "transforming idea," and a point at which the group "gets it" and starts to gel in the new world
  • Chaos declines, and performance then trends to a new, improved level

A couple of different visual representations:

From Satir Workshops


From Jim’s presentation


Check out the whole thing here on Jim’s blog.