Friday Nov 13, 2009

I am (an honorary) Canadiam!

About a month ago, I received an invitation to join a new LinkedIn group, “Canadiam – IAM in Canada,” hosted by Mike Waddingham, whom I had never met in person.  Mike had recently launched a new blog of the same name, and formed the LinkedIn group to complement his blog. Mike asserted:

"Identity and Access Management in Canada is different. American identity issues are complicated by their obsession with national security. British data and privacy laws are decidedly different than ours. Identity and Access Management (IAM) implementations vary greatly from country to country. We need a ‘conversation’ about IAM in Canada. Canadiam is that conversation.”

The call for a Canadian IAM conversation is certainly timely, and I think the blog/group name is great, reminiscent of the legendary Molson Beer commercial, "I am Canadian", which Mike embedded within the maiden post on the Canadiam blog and I include here for your enjoyment.

Back in 2000 when this commercial was first released, I was employed with Oracle and doing quite a bit of work in Canada, so watching it again brought back fond memories of choice experiences I have had with great friends north of the border.

So, I joined Canadiam as an “honorary” Canadian, and enjoyed reading Mike’s posts, including “Canada’s top court enforces license photos,” and “Canadian Identity Assertion.”  Even though I don’t quite fit the qualifications specified in the Canadian Identity Assertion, I am honored to be associated.

Fast forward to yesterday morning.  I had arrived in Vancouver to participate as a panelist in the CIO Magazine / Sun Microsystems breakfast event, “Identity Management - Pathway to Enterprise Agility.”  Before joining my colleagues at the event, I took a moment to post a short message on the Canadiam LinkedIn group that I was in town and would participate in a similar event in Toronto next Tuesday.

We had a great session, moderated by John Pickett, VP & Community Advocate at IT World Canada. Michelle Dennedy and I fielded questions about Identity Management, Privacy, Security and Cloud computing from John and members of the audience.  After the session, a man from the rear of the room, who had offered several insightful comments and excellent questions, came forward to introduce himself.  It was none other than Mike Waddingham himself!  I hadn’t recognized him from his LinkedIn photo and certainly didn’t expect him to be in attendance.  I had assumed he lived in the Toronto area.  But Mike had travelled to Vancouver from his home base in Edmonton to attend the event.

I never cease to be amazed at the surprise personal encounters I have at almost professional gathering I attend, where I meet people in person for the first time after connecting previously on line.  The magic of online interaction, while valuable and delightful in and of itself, always seems to be amplified by face-to-face interaction.

So, Mike and all you Canadiams, thanks for the privilege of being numbered among you as an honorary Canadian.  Thanks for giving me another treasured “social networking moment.” I look forward to participating further in the Canadian IAM discussion.

Friday Oct 02, 2009

Words Fly on Wings of Lightning

A provocative line in a song I have known since childhood declares, “Time flies on wings of lightning. We cannot call it back … ”

Based on an embarrassing social networking experience I had yesterday, I think we could safely paraphrase: “Words fly on wings of lightning. We cannot call them back!”

It all started when I noticed a comment from a prolific tweeter from London:

if you are retweeting something from google in order to get a wave invite then you are a <deleted>. and so are they. that is all.

Since I had just done that abominable thing, I quickly looked up <deleted> in the dictionary and posted this tweet:

Just learned a new word:  <deleted> = contemptible person; jerk.  Based on Twitter commentary, I must be one. :)

When that tweet reached Facebook, it triggered a small avalanche of comments.  It was great to see a friend speak up and say:

you are definitely not a <deleted>.

It was also nice to hear from a young man who used to live next door, but whom I haven’t seen in many years: brother calls me a <deleted> all the time. I'm glad to get a definition on that.....sort of.

But I started to wonder what I had done when an acquaintance suggested:

Tip: Don't have this conversation with anybody from the UK.... :-) … It has a very specific meaning across the Atlantic, one that is best left unexplained on a public forum :-)

What had I done?  I quickly dug a bit deeper into the meaning of <deleted>, only to find he was exactly right.  I shouldn’t be using such language in a global forum.

Well, words had flown on wings of lightning.  I even tried to call them back via Twitter:

Actually, when I looked into it, it is definitely British slang that is not used in polite company.  Oops!

And later:

Lesson learned today: Be very, very wary of repeating slang used by a tweeter from another country.  Could be very embarrassing.

It was heartening to hear from some friends who obviously had a chuckle, but questioned my motives at first:

Whew! I frankly was a bit surprised to see the Mark Dixon I know using that term. We all learn something new every day!

Yeah Mark, I was gonna jump in and say something, but then I realized i have no business correcting anyone's language.

LOL, I was wondering when you'd figure that word out. ;-)

Well, I have been painfully reminded again that we must be very careful about what we sling out into cyberspace.  Words do indeed fly on wings of lightning!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Friday Dec 07, 2007

Making Sense out of Social Media

This afternoon, I received the following question from a colleague, Michael Goodman, a highly skilled and broadly respected sales professional, via "LinkedIn Answers:"

"With all the social media available, including linked in, Blogs, twitter, plaxo, second life, et al, what is the best way to utilize all this stuff, stay ahead of the techno-bleeding edge, and really, just find another customer to tell my story to?

"I can't keep up with all the social media, web 2.0 marketing movement. Really, all I want to do is find the next customer. I am hoping someone has figured out the magical answer to taking advantage of technology and simply find new people interested in what I have to offer. Anyone?"

The answers offered were as interesting to the question. It appears that this question struck a nerve, prompting some long, thought provoking answers.

Alan Sabo offered this interesting insight:

"So, the best way to "utilize this stuff" [technologically] is to integrate your efforts among some 13-20 different services (don't be scared by the number, the key is INTEGRATION - touch one, others update ... get the picture?).

"However, technology aside, the best way to utilize this stuff [strategically]is to learn to become transparent. To share yourself and your expertise through case studies and testimonials where others can observe you doing for others - this "story telling" will go a long way to attracting the right prospects to you!"

I think the key is that the answer is not just technology. Social networks may be enabled by technology, but when it comes right down to it, the folks that "network" are humans, who must ultimately sell themselves to accomplish their goals.

Technorati Tags:

Monday Nov 05, 2007

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Open Platforms and the Social Graph

David Recordon's presentation, Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Open Platforms and the Social Graph , addresses a challenge we students of social networking grouse about daily - too many social network silos; too many Identity silos; too much effort to link things together. I would have liked to have heard the presentation in person.

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

links for 2007-10-11


Discovering Identity was founded on in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please connect with me in cyberspace at LinkedIn or Twitter.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.


« July 2016