Sunday, April 26, 2009

Twitter takes a bullet and we should all say thanks to them and others!

This weekend, Marshall Kirkpatrick over at ReadWriteWeb wrote an awesome article entitled: “How the OAuth Security Battle Was Won, Open Web Style” wherein he described a critical real-world issue that was confronted and resolved by real people working together in extraordinary ways. The story is timely, frankly amazing, and demonstrates the power that a few dedicated individuals can have over things that are important to us all.

One of the principals of this story, Chris Messina, said to me:

“@Steve: would love concrete proposals on how to improve the process. As this was the first time many of us had to respond to something like this, we're looking for solid ideas on how to make improvements. I'll look forward to your real-world advice!”

My response to this was:

“@fatoryjoe, aka Chris M. : for “making this up as you go” everyone did awesome! Identify the problem, contain the damage, embrace assistance, hunker down, envision a solution, execute the plan, communicate strategically, implement, follow-up, and then cross your fingers! (and be prepared to do it all again!) DAMN IMPRESSIVE!”

“The trick going forward will be how to timely include those that can help without jeopardizing the confidentiality and time-sensitive nature of the (next) issue at hand. In this most recent incidence it is hard to imagine how things could have been handled better, but there are also lots of folks that would help on a moments notice…and that provides a powerful resource not often found in the commercial world.”

“Open platforms continue to blaze new trails and I look forward to the continued conversations that reinforce the leadership position that these technologies and supporting communities deserve.”

If you take a few minutes to read Marshall’s story about all of this, you will quickly realize how much so few contributed to the well being of so many -- and how important Twitter's role in all of this was. This is a trend this world can and should embrace, and I for one look forward to lending my hands to these good folks and worthy causes in any way possible.

Oh, and, by the way, if you ever felt/feel frustrated about Twitter – just remember, they took a bullet for all of us this past week and that earns their respect in my book!

Steve Repetti

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't miss the most human story on the net...

I almost missed the most human story on the net today, possibly ever – and it’s still going on. Sitting on the couch next to my beautiful wife Angie, coding away with the world a blur, I would every now and then look up and see her entranced by a blog – alternately smiling and welling up with tears. And thus I was introduced to the world of MckMama and Stellan.

Stellan is a six-month old baby, and he’s sick – really sick. MckMama, Jennifer McKinney, is Stellan’s mother from Minnesota, and she has somehow found the strength to blog about all of this in real-time, and in the process the world has become captivated by this heartfelt story. Her blog’s site counter is currently approaching 10 million visitors – I know my wife is there every day.

Tonight, the world holds its collective breath. Six-month-old Stellan had heart surgery in Boston earlier today, and we do not yet know the results. In a world of distance and disassociation, where technology is all too often accused of anonymity, the story of Stellan has brought together the thoughts and prayers of the world.

If you believe in prayer, then Stellan is deserving of your messages to a higher power. If not, then Stellan is that compassionate deserving individual that makes you hope that the concept of prayer could make a difference. In any case, Stellan, MckMama, and the whole family are not alone in this ordeal. The world watches, and prays, and hopes. And none of us will be the same for the ordeal.

Visit MckMama’s blog at:

Response to: Plaxo Bids for Relevance in Portability Era

Nicole Ferraro over at Internet Revolution just released an interesting article on Plaxo and Data Portability. Here's my response:

Data Portability, as a topic independent from all of the other issues, has the potential to be extraordinarily useful to both the user and companies (including the Plaxo’s of the world). It’s not a loss to the companies if they provide value beyond simply hosting yet another digital persona.

In a world of data portability, information seamlessly and securely moves between services subject to the wishes of the user and the negotiated relationship entered into by the user and companies, usually defined by the terms of service (EULA/TOS: another important topic!). Innovative companies thrive in this environment because of the substantial value-add they provide to the user – and, as a result, have the opportunity for exponential growth due to the seamless integration of their services with the larger world.

Users benefit because they get to focus on what they want to achieve with the information, rather than having to create yet another set of activity streams, friends lists, groups, security settings, etc., and having to worry about integration, access control, and synchronization. Or more worrisome is the danger of the provider “deadpooling” with your data locked in their vault.

Overall, data portability is good for everyone. It does not seek to reduce options or competition, rather it provide options and secure, comfortable means to a highly sought end.

Interested more on data portability? Visit and join in the conversation

Steve Repetti
Board member:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oracle, Sun, and IBM dancing the dance...

While IBM danced around Sun doing the “maybe we’ll acquire you mambo”, Oracle cut in and announced this morning they are acquiring Sun in an all cash deal valued at $7.4B and that Sun’s board has already approved the deal. Who says deals are dead in the valley!