Thought Leaders From Facebook, Google, Automattic, Diaspora* Gather In Portland For Federated Social Web Summit

Thought leaders from a variety of social web companies and organisations will converge on Portland, Oregon this Sunday to discuss the “federated social web”: an extension to the current social web, built upon various open web protocols, that will allow social websites to interoperate and better communicate with each other in a decentralised, distributed manner. (More details at the Federated Social Web Summit page.)

People attending the Federated Social Web Summit.

This is the first time that so many of the big players in this area will be in the same room together – Facebook, studiVZ, Google, Automattic, Diaspora*, Vodafone – to name but a few. I’ll also be there representing the SIOC project initiated at DERI, NUI Galway. The event is being organised by Inc., the company whose software powers Identica and many other microblogging services.

Organisations represented at the Federated Social Web Summit.

I thought it would be interesting to detail some of the organisations (orange), projects (yellow) and people (green) involved that will be attending the summit, so as to get an insight into stakeholders in this federated social web. When drafting this list, I was amazed at how closely related some of these projects are and how very similar ideas are evolving in parallel, and realised how great it will be to have all these people in the same room together.

Projects represented at the Federated Social Web Summit.


StatusNet are the creators of an open-source microblogging platform that powers Identica amongst other microblogging websites.
OStatus is an open standard for distributed status updates that allows different messaging hubs to route status updates between users in near real time.
Evan Prodromou is the founder and CEO of StatusNet Inc., and has been developing open-source software for over 10 years.
Jon Phillips is a developer for StatusNet, creator of Fabricatorz, and long-time open-source and free-culture advocate.
Brion Vibber is senior architect at StatusNet, and was previously lead developer for MediaWiki, the software that powers the Wikipedia.
Zach Copley is a senior software developer at StatusNet, and is also manages developer relations for the company.
James Walker works at StatusNet as a software services architect, and is a long-time Drupal developer.
Automattic is the blog software company behind, BuddyPress, Gravatar, PollDaddy and more.
Beau Lebens works with Automattic Inc., and previously created FeedBlendr feed remixer and the MyBabyOurBaby online scrapbook.
FooCorp is the company behind, a music sharing service for freely-licensed material, and daisychain, a spatial social network.
GNU Social
GNU Social is a decentralised free software social networking system, written in PHP.
Matt Lee is the founder of FooCorp, creators of the music sharing service, and developer of GNU Social.
Rob Myers is communications officer with FooCorp, a member of the GNU Social team, and chief voluntary webmaster for the
Google is a multinational Internet search and advertising technologies corporation.
Chris Messina works as open web advocate with Google, and is known for co-creating BarCamp and the Spread Firefox campaign.
Joseph Smarr is a social web engineer with Google, former CTO of Plaxo, and co-author of the "Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web".
Brett Slatkin is a software engineer on the Google App Engine team and is co-creator of the PubSubHubbub protocol.
Diaspora* is a forthcoming open-source personal web system intended to be part of a distributed, decentralised social networking architecture.
Daniel Grippi is a computer science student at New York University and a member of the Diaspora* project team.
Maxwell Salzberg is a student at New York University and a member of the Diaspora* project team.
Raphael Sofaer is a student at New York University and a member of the Diaspora* project team.
Ilya Zhitomirskiy is a maths student at New York University and a member of the Diaspora* project team.
Noserub is a decentralised social network that allows users to own their own data and that can act as a profile aggregation service.
No representative available.
Yahoo! is a computer software and web search engine company founded in 1995.
No representative available.
DiSo is a initiative to build a distributed social network architecture using microformats, OpenID, OAuth and other building blocks.
Steve Ivy, Chris Messina and Tantek Çelik are also members of this project.
Elgg is an open-source social networking engine that was initially aimed at educational and learning groups, but has now entered general use.
No representative available.
Appleseed is an effort to create open-source social networking software that is based on a distributed model.
Michael Chisari is an open-source developer and has been lead developer for the Appleseed project since 2004.
Crabgrass is a free web application designed for social networking, group collaboration and network organising.
Elijah Saxon is a member of the Riseup Collective and is co-manager of the Crabgrass project.
AROUNDme from Barnraiser is an open-source collaboration server system for creating collaborative social spaces on the Web.
No representative available.
Webfinger is a protocol for sharing information about people and discovering things about friends, without having to remember various URLs.
Blaine Cook is a member of Osmosoft, co-creator of Webfinger, and former lead developer with Twitter.
Vodafone is a multinational telecommunications operator that provides both landline and mobile services.
OneSocialWeb is a free and open decentralised social networking platform, based on XMPP, and developed by the Vodafone R&D group.
Daniel Appelquist works with Vodafone R&D, is co-chair of the W3C Social Web Incubator Group, and is a member of the W3C TAG.
Dreamwidth Studios
Dreamwidth Studios is an open-source social networking, content management and personal publishing platform that was forked from LiveJournal.
Mark Smith is co-founder and chief technologist with Dreamwidth Studios, and previously worked as a developer with LiveJournal and Six Apart.
Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site with over 400 million active users.
Open Graph Protocol
Open Graph Protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in the Facebook social graph.
Dave Recordon works at Facebook, where he developed the Open Graph Protocol, and he previously co-developed OpenID and worked with Six Apart.
FOAF, or Friend of a Friend, is a Semantic Web vocabulary for describing people’s profiles and their social connections.
No representative available.
Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read other user messages called tweets.
No representative available.
OpenMicroBlogger is an implementation of the specification for site-to-site microblogging.
Brian Hendrickson is the creator of OpenMicroBlogger, the Structal PHP framework, and runs the Megapump consultancy company.
XMPP is a standards foundation that supports the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol for presence, messaging, and real-time collaboration and communications.
No representative available.
Six Apart
Six Apart is the creator of the Movable Type blog system, the TypePad blog hosting service, Vox, and is the former owner of LiveJournal.
Martin Atkins is a software engineer at Six Apart, and is co-author of the specification.
Steve Ivy is a web developer and standards advocate with Six Apart, and co-founded the DiSo project. is a format for syndicating social activities around the Web.
Martin Atkins, Dave Recordon and Chris Messina are also members of this project.
Cliqset is a stream-reading tool that amalgamates content from multiple social websites.
Darren Bounds is CEO and co-founder of Cliqset, and is an open web advocate.
BuddyCloud is a social location service with a variety of open-source clients for bookmarking places automatically once they’ve been visited previously.
Tuomas Koski is a developer with the BuddyCloud project and is a member of the XMPP standards foundation.
Simon Tennant is founder and CEO of BuddyCloud, and has interests in mobile location sharing and reputation systems in social applications.
Social Jargon
Social Jargon is an initiative that will enable people to be casually precise in a world where we want to write less but mean more.
Ward Cunningham is CTO with AboutUs, devised the first wiki, and is a pioneer in design patterns and extreme programming.
Superfeedr provides real-time feed parsing in the cloud for web developers.
No representative available.
Mozilla is an open-source project providing web browsers, e-mail clients, chat systems and more.
Dan Mills is a member of the Mozilla project and was lead engineer of Weave, now Firefox Sync.
Paul Osman is a senior web developer with the Mozilla foundation and is an open web advocate.
Austin King is a web developer with Mozilla, and has worked with and RealNetworks.
Tumblr is a publishing platform that allows sharing of posts, multimedia, etc., and enables the reblogging of interesting items.
No representative available.
Posterous is a blogging platform that allows sites to be created by simply e-mailing content items to a single address.
No representative available.
Falcon is a personal publishing, syndicating, tweeting and updating web application, with an algorithmically reversible personal URL shortener called Whistle.
Tantek Çelik is a key advocate of microformats, was chief technologist with Technorati, and has edited many CSS specifications.
Personal Data Store
Personal Data Store is a set of software components which provides a personal data store and modular personal applications.
Joseph Boyle works on the Personal Data Store project and co-organised the recent Big Data Workshop.
Kaliya Hamlin works on open standards for user-centric identity, and co-founded the Internet Identity Workshop series.
SMOB is a Semantic Web application for semantic microblogging, that combines a distributed hub-based architecture with a tag-to-concept mapping assistant.
John Breslin is a member of this project.
NUI Galway
NUI Galway is a university in Ireland that is home to DERI, the world’s largest Semantic Web research institute.
SIOC is a framework for interlinking online community sites using Semantic Web technologies, by defining structures common to most social websites.
John Breslin is a lecturer at NUI Galway, researching SIOC and the Social Semantic Web, and is co-founder of the forum community site. is a free domain and website service for storing your content and managing your personal identity.
No representative available.
Geoloqi is an open-source website and mobile application for securely sharing location data with GPS and SMS.
Aaron Parecki is the co-founder of Geoloqi, and is also CIO at, a real-estate solutions website.
Don Park is a developer with Geoloqi, and has written a variety of social networking utilities for FOAF and XFN.
Naver is Korea’s main search portal, operated by NHN Corporation.
Soon-Son Kwon is a general manager at NHN, and founder of KDLP, Korea’s main open source community.
Echo allows publishers to quickly embed real-time streams of Digg bookmarks, Facebook updates, tweets, comments and more.
No representative available.
versionvega is a peer-to-peer general purpose network for applications far beyond file sharing.
Markus Sabadello is the creator of @versionvega, and has interests in identity, privacy and peer-to-peer networks.
Lorea is a project to create secure social cybernetic systems, in which human networks will be simultaneously represented in a virtual shared world.
No representative available.
Microsoft is a multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a variety of computing products and services.
Rob Dolin is a program manager for Windows Live at Microsoft, and owner of Wuxx Events, a calendar of local Seattle events.
studiVZ is a German social networking platform for students, in particular for college and university students in Europe.
Sebastian Galonska is a senior platform developer with studiVZ, and developer advocate with VZnet Netzwerke.
Rapportive is a browser extension that replaces ads in Gmail with photos, biographic data and social media links, for whoever you’re corresponding with.
No representative available.
Social Hive
Social Hives are the creators of the Hivemaps and Community ID projects for supporting NGOs and green initiatives.
Joe Johnston is the founder of Social Hive and has interests in the democratisation of information and the greater movement of social evolution through technology.
Janrain provides a user management platform for the social web, allowing users to navigate through multiple web properties using their signon mechanism of choice.
Ivan Pulleyn is a software engineer with Janrain, and previously worked at a variety of companies including Alexa and
Cordance is a developer and provider of digital addressing technology, enabling a layer of trusted identity and data sharing services.
Drummond Reed is co-founder and director of Cordance, a founding board member of OpenID, and co-chairs the XRI and XDI technical committees for OASIS.
Clearspring is a provider of social distribution services connecting online publishers and advertisers to audiences on the social web.
No representative available.
AddThis is a popular bookmarking and sharing widget used on over a million websites.
No representative available.

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