I am (not) Spock

Tim Bray wants to know if/why spock.com matters. Here’s why I think it does. At some point, people are going to throw up their hands in disgust when invited to sign up for yet another service in order to assert or defend their online identities. So, for example, Spock thinks that Jon Udell is the inspector general at the Department of Justice, based on these two blog postings of mine. In fact, that person (whom I will not name here in order to avert yet more identity confusion1) is represented thusly in Spock.

I have no interest whatsoever in setting Spock straight about these facts, because I know that effort won’t carry over to ZoomInfo or to anywhere else.

I have a huge interest in establishing a presence, anchored somewhere in the emerging identity metasystem, to which I can refer Spock and ZoomInfo and other services. If Spock inspires other folks to appreciate why they might want to establish such presences for themselves, that’d be great. And based on some of the reactions I’m seeing, perhaps Spock will help us get there.

Isn’t it delightful, by the way, that both of these books exist?

I am Spock / I am not Spock

1 Of course, by writing the phrase “Jon Udell is the inspector general” I am probably ensuring that it will show up here.

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13 thoughts on “I am (not) Spock

  1. Jon, Are you suggesting that database information that is not accurate (good) is in some way ‘Okay’? You spend a lot of time trying to obtain ‘good’ data to analyze so that your analysis will be ‘good’. Searching on databases strewn with erroneous information (like the Internet) is only the prelude to knowledge and requires further verification and understanding before it can be used for anything of value. The Worldcat.org entries are at least knowledgeably researched before entry and a spectacular resource. The simpleminded interpretation of them does everyone a dis service. Jim

  2. “Are you suggesting that database information that is not accurate (good) is in some way ‘Okay’?”

    There’s no slight of Worldcat implied or intended, if that’s what you’re suggesting. It’s an awesome resource. Both of those books do exist, and I’ve read them both. It was just a (too) cute play on the Spock theme.

    As for spock.com, I’m just tired of this game of harvesting scraps of info about people randomly, and then expecting that the wisdom of your crowd — but not the competitor’s crowd — will clean it up. It’s time to put the subjects of these people databases, namely us, in charge.

  3. “There’s no slight of Worldcat implied or intended, if that’s what you’re suggesting.”
    Certainly not. As you say and I second, “It’s an awesome resource.” It is a capability to be emulated. What I am responding to is primarily the issue of dirty data and what to do about it, although it is much more complex an subject than just that one issue.
    When I Googled ‘Jon Udell’ just now (previously how I was able to find your new location after you left Infoworld) the first item is your primary post here and then an old Infoworld Radio link but most interesting is the Sponsored Link back to Infoworld. Then I did it again within ten minutes and the result was different and no Infoworld sponsored link even though I had clicked on it the first time. Maybe its time for a human database to rival worldcat.org or are there too many privacy issues? Maybe we should solve the email spam problem first ;-)

  4. Sorry for the “… an subject …” but do not see a way to edit a submitted post. ;-( Talk about dirty data……..

  5. Jon,

    just one thing- I can not understand why did you consider Spock as something to get reffered TO somewhere else, when it’s exactly your metasystem!

    As far as I know, the initial goals and all the logic of Spock was to become the place where the other Web Links along with tags and some other content, should be referred to.
    Look at spelling- SPOCK= “single point of contact (by) keyword” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spock_(website)], but I believe you knew that.

    I was myself absolutely crazy about the issue of my On-Line identity, and user mostly Naymz and MySocialURL to collect/ aggregate my other links. but now I think Spock is gonna be that mithical single-point-of-access. At least my profile today is much more informative that anything one could find with help of Google, by dedicating some good 30 mins to analysis of the links found there ;)

    or I probably did not get your idea and your META is something even more META than the Spock’s idea of meta? fell free contacting me on Spock then- http://www.spock.com/Andrey-Golub and I’ll be happy to chat aboiut it (and also I’ll come later here to re-check the comments).

    thank you.
    Andrey Golub- a Spock Evangelist

  6. “your META is something even more META than the Spock’s idea of meta”

    It is. In my view this has to be a federation of interoperable services. Too big/important for a single operator to own/control.

  7. I agree Jon,
    “federation of interoperable services” it’s something really different from what Spock wants to do. Their primary goal is to become a very comfortable for everyone ENTRANCE- POINT (the door) for every Person on the Web. The door that will then followed by a corridor with the rooms represented another 1.0 and 2.0 Web Services.

    And then, after having entered to this single/”standard”(it would be cool for Spock guys :lol:) entrance, the access to something like you dream about should be given to the User. From Spock or any other 2.0 Service that pretends on the role of a Standard-Web-Entrance-for-Person.

    so you probably have something strong to tell us about the recent DataPortability effort? Several Bloggers now consider this project as something such same big as the OpenSocial itself was few month ago…
    In respect to Spock, I see this or any other social middle-ware effort that is gonna win the competition to become the standard for Open Social Web, exactly as a middle-ware to access all other Web 2.0 services. But those must become interoperable first :).

    Do you think this could be possible?

    Kind Regards,
    Andrey Golub- a Spock Evangelist and Blogger

  8. I think spock.com is probably the closest thing you’ll find to a one-stop shop. Out of the many invites I’ve sent to spock, I’ve had but one complaint who was concerned about privacy issues. As he’s thinking about becoming a writer, I did remind him that, if you want to be a known writer, your name WILL be out there and it is important to manage your identity as best you can.

    Spock.com makes it easier to do so than most and has the nice small yet open community feel to it, a rarity.

    P.S. – our names may be similar, but Jon Udell and Kenneth Udut are NOT related. :)

    Kenneth Udut

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