Archive for the ‘Identity20’ Category

WDYDWYD part 2

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

So I ignored the signs about identity. I waffled back and forth trying to create privacy on important things like home addresses while trying to maintain my brand. In a way I was forced into it. Whenever anyone hears the name Silona and they know me – they assume it is me. It’s a reasonable assumption. But when some students of mine discovered, I realized I had more to do. was a porn site for a dominatrix in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately she never showed her face and hard dark hair and a similar build to mine. Everyone seemed to believe me that it wasn’t me but.. the seeds of doubt were there. I knew I had to work more on creating and preserving my own identity. And I was tired of addressing the issue – “no that isn’t me…”

So I gave up on privacy. For me it had become a lost cause. So many sites and agencies wanted my address and phone. It had accidentally been published. So many things depended on my SSN and name. I had already been stalked once and because of that Dad and I had done concealed handgun classes together. (Yes I own 4 guns. Yes I am a Texan and a military brat.) I realized privacy as secrecy was a thing of the past – it just took me awhile to completely accept it.

I know it’s hard. I mean I do large scale databases for a living.

So I went looking for a way to fix it… my first attempt was a royal failure.  I realized things don’t just need to be available.  They need to be equitable.

As individuals, the electronic medium was forcing us to be transparent to businesses and government but they did not have to report back to us.

I decided to strive to create more equitable relationships.  Step was get government transparent… step two was business.  But I didn’t tell many people.  See in 2004 in Texas – most people already thought I was a little “unrealistic.” (to put  it nicely.)

Recently though I refocused.  Now I am focused on citations for government documents, creating citable data, and openbanking.


The Importance of Brave Monkeys

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

So I want to talk about a pattern I see in the world…

All of these numbers are completely pulled out of my head and there are no scientific studies that I know of… so buyer beware! just trying to attach and estimation…

It seem like 1 out of 10 people is what I call a “brave monkey.” I loosely define brave monkeys as the kind of monkey that would touch the obelisk in 2010. They are the novelty seekers in the world that are willing to try to things without knowing what will happen. Sometime many people in the world ask them “Why would you want to do that.” And the typical answer is pure curiosity…

So in the land of electronic media… there are few things that can kill us. Previously evolutionarily speaking we didn’t want too many brave monkeys because unfortunately brave monkey often die for their curiosity. So I believe we need a higher percentage of brave monkeys in our new safer world.

But how do we help people be more brave? esp in an online situation where risk is diminished?

I think the best things to do are:
1) make sure to always reward people very publicly
this sets up a system for scared monkeys to go and see what people have done correctly
2) Create very clear examples for scared monkeys to follow – I find with these best practices… you can convert 1/3 of the scared monkeys to be braver monkeys
3) There are brave monkeys out there that are good teachers – make them role models
They become living examples of best practices

and most importantly 4)
The more I do this life thing… the more I am on Dale Carnegie side – don’t criticize individuals.
All it does is force people to defend themselves (and puts the in lizard brain – and none of us are smart when we are being lizards…)
Only talk about things or actions that are wrong not people. If you can talk about it without calling out an individual – you have done a good thing!

We don’t want to hurt brave monkeys! even when sometimes they aren’t smart monkeys – we all make mistakes.


Podcast w Jon Udell about

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

The podcast I did with Jon Udell about is now live!

check it out!

and if you want to help work on the specs see

also we need help w PDF issues at

community work at

project specifications for drupal at

Project specifications for archive server at


old personas fading into the sunset…

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

One thing I have been pondering for some time is how to let old personas die. (or at least fade?)  Ever since my crass usenet jokes in college made it on the web in ’96.

I think the most frequent thing my generation talks about (in regards to social media) is how grateful they are that Facebook etc didn’t exist when they were in college. (Course I like to remind them old photos can be scanned in and uploaded… So nothing is perfect here.  I am talking some general constructs.)

But the new generations do have to deal with a more prevalent problem… Remember that time you got so drunk you passed out and your friends decided it would be fun to draw a mustache on you.  Those precious moments in time can now live forever and ever.  They can also be easily accessible. Maybe they are googlable by a potential boss or your mom.  Also let’s not forget Credit Card companies and scoring agencies are also thinking of data mining social behavioral data to determine risk… so some real implications beyond social could impact you in the future.

Some of that is out of your control (esp when your “friend” that I say isn’t really a friend uploads it to facebook and tags you.)  I can’t fix that problem but maybe though mutual data ownership and verification might help in the future.

In the old days, you could move to a new place and start again.  Now, you can’t…  it is too prevalent and easy to find ESP if you have a unique name – like Silona for example.  John Doe – don’t think you are safe Mister!  With the new social graphing tools… I can figure out you are JohnDoe78731 you are 37 yrs old w two cats!  Just takes a little more digging is all.  And don’t think that cute blonde’s dad isn’t willing to make that effort!

I think some data should have a time limit.  It was something Mark Bergman and I were discussing the other day.  He envisions a beautifully geeky way to let data expire.  It isn’t perfect of course.  People can always take pictures etc.  But the validation mechanism – (that shared data part) that makes it valuable and citable could expire and possibly lock it up.  I mean sometimes the internet is kind and does that for us anyways (bye bye ugly geocities site.)  But wouldn’t it be nicer that it happened based on a default setting YOU SET?  Especially on some sites where you have a certain expectation of privacy (ahem facebook? remember when it was college students only – so drunken pics are “fine”?)

I know it’s too late for some things but sure it couldn’t hurt…  give you the option to unlock things and allow them to live on if you so choose?

It something to ponder and Mark – I hope you do develop it further :-)  esp for dating sites – cause I think there is a GOOD business model there :-)


Long tail of social networking

Monday, July 6th, 2009

So currently most people don’t have enough time to join more than 1 or 2 social networking sites at a time.

Much of this is driven by the Dunbar Number.  Dividing up into Family (10-20), bands (50), groups (100-200) and tribes (500-2500). Social media is letting us supersede that 150 people by being a bit more efficient in interactions (though I will be the first to admit I often fail at it.)  And looking at things from the perspective of those different levels of intimacy illustrates the need for different permissions.

But the reality of it – is that we do not want to be limited to a single social networking tool like facebook or linkedin.  Instead we would like to create our own contextual groups with our own intimacy levels. I believe we can expand those numbers through contextualization. I think that is key to creating cohesive groups in a tribe.  Those groups need to be fluid as well since relationships change often.

One thing that can solve this is a decentralized social net.  One where you are allowed to create and reconnect shards of your identity (and relationships) on the net better controlling your persona and the different types of relationships those personas can have.

Humans were able to go beyond Bands with the introduction of language – a cheap form of grooming.  I believe that if we can enable technology to do similar things for us. After all that is what the printing press was all about!  Though printing not as conducive to conversation as the net is and can be!

So let’s design better tools that are focused on how people would like to interact.  So that we spend less time on the grooming of our toolset and instead spend it on our actual relationships. Esp social media tools that enable me to be more efficient about seeing people in Real Life.  not virtually…


How to save the world in 3 easy steps

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

This is the 10 year plan I created in 2004

1) transparent govt
2) transparent business
3) introduce checks and balances in behavior
and create legal constructs when social norms fail

I started on all this because I am “Silona Bonewald” the only one in the world and I am a database geek. So I realized with the nature of things as they become electronic – privacy thru obscurity is gone. We needed a new (might I say better) type of checks and balances. And decided to start making govt and businesses more transparent.

When I started I didn’t talk much about business – everyone thought I was crazy enough in regards to govt. But now with the crash and such… I am not looking as crazy.

This is why I do allllll the crazy projects I do…
this is my theme!


big red STOP signs

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

So once upon a time…

I created very complex schemas.  I did Databases to 4th or even 5th level normalization.  Breaking it of course when needed for speed but always starting out “clean”  then profiling once I had the actual data to optimize for performance.  And if any one wants to (stupidly) compete on that level… I did EDS style systems with all the funky military codes.  And sometimes, I had to deal with  people that make it so complex to where a monster was a 27 level table join.

I understand complexity.  I understand the basic, sometimes biological, need for it.  Yes I used to sort my closet and room obsessively: clothes from shorter to longer while shoes underneath ran in the opposite direction.

When we all started doing computer stuff 20+ years ago, this was completely necessary and was a good thing.  But things have changed.  It used to be we were programming robots on how to cross the street.  We used robots because it was all we had and we could automate them.  But robots,  well robots are dumb.  Sorry I love robots too but they are only as good as we can directly tell them to be.  Instead now we have people.

We don’t have to tell people how to cross the street.  They won’t read those instruction manuals.  For people, we put up a great big red sign that says STOP.  That makes them aware of red means danger I should look around access and go on from there.

These new online community groups, need the same.  They do not need strict complex schemas.  They were break them – even if they understand them.  Think normal vocabulary and young people eg urban dictionary.   I don’t blame them honestly.  I also don’t care if your stuff breaks because of it.  I needed to break it – it DIDN’T FIT.

Make things to stretch and break.  Make things flexible. Make things simple.

We are creating for people not robots now.

Yes this is why I am a huge fan of they are doing a great job of bridging that gap.

o yea and I’m with Jimmy Wales – I hate the term “crowdsourced”  implies lack of intelligence and implies business resource.  I also prefer Community Created.


Good Social media habits

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I think Social media Monitoring and data visualizations on the individual will be key to people learning how to take more ownership of their data.

Once they see visualizations of all their data and how it is used… they will become more conscious.  I do sincerely believe google did us a favor by making people see the tip of the iceburg in regards to all the data that could be instantly available on them.

We need more tools like this for awareness issues alone!

things like:
Context of organizations joined
Identity pooling issue (esp when wrong)
Context of commentary
Your “commerical” context identity
Swarm marketing and surround marketing
Behavioral profiling
Social identity mapping who you know and who knows you


has issues with authority…

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Hmm was pondering this… how does a person that did so much work with “big companies”  and is really good at lobbying republican’s on technical issues get this tag line?

Well it isn’t what you think… it is not a rebellion.

I see the world in patterns.  I watch things interweave.  I have a HARD time writing papers that are longer than 5-10 pages.  It is because I do not see the world very linearly.  I do see the world as a multi dimensional mesh of connections with little electrical energies surging in many directions at once. (yea I am sure that is from some Sci-fi show I saw as a child.)

Because of this I see hierarchies as fluid.  If I can figure out a way to gain access without the traditional channels.  I will do so.  I normally get my ideas across. Though I have found it also means I rarely get paid… C’est la vie.

I don’t get foiled often.  The only way is to completely lock down your network.  It is sad when a group does do this.  it guarantees an echochamber effect.  Or an emporer’s new clothes reality…  And that makes me worry for them.


Google – you are teaching people bad habits

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Google, my dear, you know I love you. I have been pimping out your tools since I first stumbled upon your Stanford page in 97 when I was doing SEO for a living. I even told my mom about you before you were on…

And I do know your motto of “don’t be evil” but do you realize you are teaching people bad habits in regards to giving away data ownership?

See I know that you expire data, and do much to anonymize data, and try to protect privacy of the individual. But I only know this because I personally know many google employees.  Those dear souls comfort my worried paranoid brain by explaining some internal processes to me.

But see I worry about the “thought crime” becoming a reality from the huge amounts of social behavior collected.

Though I do things like use google latitude. How do I justify such things?

Because you let me control it. I decide who sees it. I can set it to a location (lying maybe but eh…) While I don’t know what ATT does with this data ( I mean for all I know they are still handing it over to GW even though he isn’t president anymore.)  This tool could be used as an amazing lesson to people (look at the data Sandy Pentland at MIT media lab is gathering!)

My request is this… could you make people more aware of their data ownership? Could you make them aware that even though you guys aren’t Evil… that other sites out there collecting information MIGHT be?

please be a bit more public about your policies

ask others to also be more aware

teach people to fish – rather than giving them a fish?

we need things to illustrate transparent equitable standards for open data… can I help?  I won’t charge too much :-)