Archive for the ‘Persona prime’ Category

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!


Reasons I blog

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The main reason I have finally given in to blogging publicaly is the same reason I started privately 6 years ago.

I wanted a somewhat accurate record of my thoughts.  It’s sad that in a way negativity has caused me to blog but it is true.  When I started my personal blog 6 years ago it’s because I was on the edge of my divorce and had realized I had done very little self reflection which caused me to make life decisions that were not core to my state of being.  I wanted a more accurate reflection of self for my self and I wanted my friends perspectives to help keep me balanced.  Livejournal (Brad Fitzpatrick) – thank you so much for providing that!

I have watched my concepts and ideas be misunderstood most of my life.  Sometimes I have had them understood too well and used for bad reasons.  So this year I have committed myself to blogging more.  One thing that makes it hard to blog professionally is that I do not consider myself by any stretch of the imagination to be a writer.  I am a talker.  I have always been a talker (I can SEE some of y’all nodding to this right now!)  I am afraid of being judged for my writing…

It’s hard the part of my identity that I am the most attached to is “Silona is smart.”  And I hate doing anything that could possibly negatively effect that outcome.  It is way I held back on wikis at first and putting up incomplete work for fear of looking “dumb”  or just simply “not as smart as I thought she was…”

But then I found people misremembering what I said.  Especially in regards to my transparent legislation project that I designed in 2004.  And that has made me very unhappy.  I came up with the idea of documenting things on a paragraph by paragraph level using a unique identifier back then.  I came up with having atomic pieces of data that I could use the “connect the dots” tool on.  I can even tell you what specifically inspired me ( in 2004.)  I had the idea of creating a free open source social network that i could give away to all the NPO’s so they could create a mesh network of credible identities so that you could trust that paragraph level documentation and the connections made btn those pieces of data.

And yet… i have convios with people that I talked with that had decided what I was creating 6 yrs ago was a “calendar tool.”  That makes me very sad.  True, I did have Brandi Clark’s Ecowise Network that wanted a calendar tool (though could fit on the mesh net) at a codeathon in 2006 but was not even a serious end goal of mine.

So here I am at a crux point.  I am considering moving out of open government and into Open Banking.  I have a business plan from two and half years ago on how I want to kill FICO and I am creating a list of open banking best practices.  Perhaps even create a new bank…  it’s a big dream.  But that is always the way I have done it.  For good or bad.  I did dream up and do a demo of the Voter Vault in 94-96.  I am not even going to mention the gaming ideas… I did envision in 2004-05 some of the pieces of transparent government that are being put into place now.  Back then I can’t tell you how many times people told me I was insane this was the year Bush became pres for the second time.

So here I go again.  Come join me on the ride?

If you are – let me know you are here?  that was the best part of LiveJournal – all my friends’ input inspired me to keep up with writing…  even if your note is just a “hey nifty”


how to make your data useless – lessons in hipster

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I think we could all take a few lessons from a sub culture I find interesting and kinda view myself as being on the periphery of…


As much as you might be annoyed by their inclusive disgruntled nature.  It is there for a reason.  The only generation that has been marketed to more is the next one.  Their reaction is to be inclusive – they don’t listen to music unless it come thru their social network.  They purposely move from network to network to avoid “losers.”  Often late adopter and when they start getting spammed…

So marketing people are at a loss as to how to advertise to them.  Not they they can’t be – but you better speak their language.

So let’s take a few tips from this group:

lie on surveys

switch identities on purpose to screw with marketers

create diverse identities to make you hard to track (and keep moving)

and the best one – IGNORE ADS and promise to actually do the opposite of those ADs.

So yea – the apathy can be annoying – but acknowledge the cause and perhaps you can also gain some appreciation for this sometimes misaligned group.


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.


Mutual ownership of data – B2B B2C P2P O2O O2P

Monday, June 15th, 2009

So how did I get here?  this concept of mutual ownership of data.  To be honest I did not get there from the perspective of the individual.  I got here because I wanted to figure out how to create a mesh of social nets so that I could have multiple personas.

The big piece is getting groups that control the Social nets to share the data.  I had to create something so that competitive groups would share data.  That is when I realized

business 2 business

org 2 org

business 2 client

and org 2 patron and even person to person

were all the same issue.  Setting up a TRUST relationship and keeping that balanced.  To do that mutual ownership must be acknowledged then maybe we can begin to negotiate what might be an equivalent relationship to create that trust.

Trusting without recourse… isn’t very smart in business though as people we do it naturally (and I think it is why we are losing our data left and right and suffering the advertising overload consequences.)  good fences make good neighborhoods.  good contracts make good business partners just by SETTING EXPECTATIONS.

I honestly believe that a mesh of Federating Social Nets cannot exist without this mutual ownership of data.  How else do we get Businesses and organization to share data?

Mike Neuenschwander wrote an awesome blog post about the equivalence issue – and explains it better than I in business terminology.

He calls it the law of relational symmetry.  I should state here too that one of my top five movies is “Brazil.”  Also Princess Bride, Dune (6hr version NOT TV), Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Fifth Element.  But that did not bias me to his article :-)

Sometimes I am upset that we do not learn to barter in this country.  I think this aspect of figuring out the relational symmetry of ownership of data would be more intuitive if we realized – Data is money therefore negiogate cash for its release!


please ask questions

Friday, June 12th, 2009

I have a dilemma…

You see communication is always an imperfect thing amoung humans… and it gets worse the more complex the concepts become.  I live in a world of complex topics.

Once upon a time, I did the geek thing and would basically interview people before talking to them on a topic.  It told me where they were at and I could then talk to them on a level they would understand.  But I was told that when I did that I was “intimidating.”  So I (mostly) stopped. I still do it when comfortable in a geeky situation.  Honestly it is my default setting…

So then, I tried not to assume and defined everything… I was told it was slow, boring and by some condescending .  I mean how could I assumed they didn’t know what that meant.  Whoops not my intention at all!

So then, I just talked.  But now people say I am confusing, intimidating and condescending.  Mainly this interpretation seems to be by one type of person however… those that are afraid to ask questions.  I guess the fear of asking questions says something about one’s mindset at the start.  I plead with you to break that mindset!

There is no such thing as a stupid question.  Some times questions are poorly asked… but all that is indicated to me is a lack of common background or vocabulary.  That does NOT mean stupidity.   it doesn’t even mean lack of knowledge.  It means lack of common knowledge.

The only thing that can be stupid about question asking is if you weren’t ATTEMPTING to listen in the first place.  Which honestly is more rare than you think… else why ask? (yes yes a few people like the sound of their voice – give them affirmation and they’ll be fine.)

SO Please ask me questions, it helps me better communicate with you.  That is my goal – else why would I talk to you?  I have so many things to be doing.  If I am talking to you – you are important to me.  I most often see the failure to communicate properly is my own or because we lack common vocabulary. I need to talk in a way that you can understand but you also have to give me feedback to make it worth your while.  Honestly, by not asking questions… you do yourself a disservice.

For example, The issue I am dealing w most right now is I don’t have a better phrase for my “Federated” Social network – geeks keep thinking “federation” which is something very specific to certain protocols.  However I MEAN ”

To cause to join into a league, federal union, or similar association.
to league, ally, associate…

ie the Definition in the Dictionary.

But I have no control over others vocabulary hence me occasionally making up words like “citability.” I am luckly because if people see it written they have an inherent understand of what is MIGHT mean and because it is made up they have no fear of asking what it does mean!

get past fear!  ask questions!


Multiple personas (people and businesses)

Monday, June 8th, 2009

I believe we should have the ability to have multiple personas on the internet.

Who am I?  is an incredibly complex question… one that philosophers have trouble answering.  What hubris allows us to think that we can create some simple core identity view that will express it all.  It is impossible.  We change we evolve.  We have diverse reactions to different contexts.  We express often what sociologists call “deceptive” practices.

The funny thing here is some of the time that “deception” sociologically speaking is actually good – since it shows us as evolved past animalistic urges.  And yes don’t even get me started on how stupid I think that loaded terminology is.  And what it expresses to me about sociology’s self absorption to use such a loaded term.  but I digress…

I view us as complex beings that scatter little pieces of ourselves around the universe.  Different people have different interpretations (sometimes loaded by their own biases and insecurities.)  Those interpretations is a child of our interactions.  Yes both contribute – it is the way our brains work.  Paying attention itself is a filtering process.  We interpret everything we notice. We make that data our own by subtly changing it through our cognition process somehow – think of the game “telephone.”

We change our personal internal identity story just like that game of telephone.  Memory is not exact.  We change.  Our personas change.  Hopefully, we evolve (though I know some that devolved.)  We need the net to be just as flexible for growth to occur.  There is a reason young people switch social networks often… they are forming themselves and often welcome the opportunity to shed “friends” in a socially acceptable way.  They want to reinvent their personas.  many have multiple persona on the same network.  And they are certainly nervous about Great Aunt Bertha joining facebook and seeing aspects of their persona that they certainly aren’t that ashamed of (or else they wouldn’t have posted) but certainly don’t want seen out of context.  As I like to say we all know Silona wears a bikini but a google search puts Silona in a bikini at the office.

I like the think of these little pieces of us that we shed around the interwebs as being little lego pieces.  I want to be able to assemble those little lego pieces as I see fit to create diverse personas.  I want a “Silona open Gov persona” that I could assemble from my ACLU, EFF memberships, my past and present directorships on TANO and EFF-Austin, my founder of LOTV status, my past jobs on LinkedIn, etc.  I do not want my livejournal with my lovelife posts that I locked to be friends only.

I DO NOT want to be forced to merge all my shards of persona and be taken out of context.  I want to decide what each lego persona I create looks like.  Now because data is shared, I don’t have complete control over what every lego looks like.  And someone else can certainly go out there and create a drunken/dorky picture high drama lego person out of me if they choose. Though you know the parent SN could prevent that if they want since they also own the data… hint hint this becomes important later.

Forced merging of personas is both of sociological and security nightmare for me.  Sorry but I don’t complete trust all those groups in regards to merging my data (actually our data but data that isn’t completely THEIRS either.)  I mean look at the big oopsie facebook did with Beacon and they had nothing but the best intentions of helping (and making a buck – who can blame them.)

And to be honest… businesses aren’t going to like that forced merging either.  If other groups, businesses and social nets also become participants, they won’t play in the forced merger world.  So I ask for another perspective from the Developers out there…  Ok so the individual doesn’t matter as much to you… but if you think about it groups and businesses would also like similar methods of control.  Many would like to be brokers of a lego but also want a bit of control in regards to how that lego is used with “OUR” data.  Does that help integrate it better into your business model?


Ownership and responsibility in Identity relationships

Monday, June 8th, 2009

So I guiltily admit I finally read Bob Blakley’s paper on Identity relationships today.  This is particularily neglect of me considering not only is Bob on my board of directors… but also a dear friend that I discuss these topics often with.   And of course I am in awe.  Bob is really good at laying out the reasoning for things I can only see intuitively.  We of course have had many discussions about the essential nature of relationships to identity.  Obviously I am biased because it is key to a Federation of Social Networks.  I mean what are social networks but a grouping of relationships!

But I would like to add an additional aspect here… that of ownership.  Because of those relationships, that data is never owned by one party or another.  That relationship data is the child of both (or multiple) entities.

With that ownership also comes responsibilities, for both parties and I think that is where the essential aspects of privacy become relevant and addressable. Most in this space think of those relationships as only being in the context of individuals… but I would argue the issues are the same in social network to social network sn2sn style relationships.  Especially since I envision purposely fragmenting social networks instead of people only using one or maybe two.  I actually would like to redefine CRM to include social nets that each can be a “lego” in the construction of a persona.  Rather similar to the new information card but with a more distributed flair rather than being centralized on a desktop application.

For example, say I want to do some documentation on the Transparent Federal Budget.  I would prove my validity by linking to various personas that show appropriate reputation such as the ACLU validating that I was a Legislative Liaison in Texas, that I was on the board of EFF-Austin, that I am currently on the board of TANO, and that I am the founder of the League of Technical Voters, and finally my LinkedIn profile that also has links to people I worked with.  These would hopefully illustrate to readers of my documentation that I am knowledgable in regards to technical issues while documenting those aspects in the Budget.

It would be up to me to create and update those personas.  I have a pretty good reason to manage those relationships with those org’s social nets now because they are part of my reputation.  So the key part is how to get people to be willing to do this in the first place… one key here is trust…

This is the big HINT HINT to businesses out there.  If you wanting to create a social net to help keep your CRM database up to date, this is the value you can give.  But even more than that – how to get customer to share is where relationships REQUIRE TRUST.  To get trust, you need to SHARE ownership of data.  True a business style social network will not get updated all the time but if you aggregate with others… people will have incentive to maintain that relationship. Look at the success of facebook apps.  Now dear business folks imagine not being beholden to one entity…

For example, I don’t go to Yelp everyday. But when I want to tell everyone about a neat restaurant,  I’ll do a review on yelp which then automatically puts it on my facebook and friendfeed.  That is an incentive to me.  It makes it really easy to tell evveryone and I don’t have to try and move all the info to yelp (which by the way I don’t own outright – remember it’s shared.)

It creates a responsibility for both individual and business to maintain the relationship.  It also creates a responsibility between businesses.  Yelp expects that facebook and friendfeed won’t “steal” data (since that data remember isn’t purely Yelp’s either.)  The interesting side effect I believe this could have… is it could become easier and more effective way to handle all this relationship data.   I easily see data brokers evolving…