I spent the last day and a half at the Decentralized Web Summit.

My head is about to explode. Seriously.

This conference was so out of my normal scheme that it really shook things up for me. I don’t think that it will blow my life into a new stratosphere or anything, but I know about things that I didn’t know about before. I have heard of things that I don’t understand and I have participated in a cultural group that is really different from the librarians, knowledge managers and content management people with whom I normally interact. It was an eye opener.

The conference was held at the Internet Archive, which owns an old Christian Science building. The former sanctuary (or CS equivalent) still has the pews, but houses the servers that run the Internet Archive, was where the presentations were held.

The majority of the attendees and presenters were male, but there were a few females, including a few female presenters. Tons of t-shirts, only one suit (that I saw), beards, boots. The new uniform.

If the building had been bombed, the history of hte Internet would have been wiped out, not because the IA servers would have been destroyed (they are backed up offsite), but because most, if not all, of the fathers of the Internet were in attendance: Brewster Kahle, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf (he wore the suit), Cory Doctorow, Richard Sullivan, etc. I was in awe of these guys. I remember when they were were working on making the Internet more open. And here they are again, working for the same thing.

The first issue I had was that I had no idea what a Decentralized Web was. A day and half into the conference, I am still not 100% sure. Wendy Hanamura, the Partnership leader at IA suggested:

  • Open
  • Private
  • Secure
  • Free

She suggested and this was reiterated later, that these values should be ‘baked into the code”.

 

Resources:

Cory Doctorow’s presentation

Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid project

Twitter hashtag #DwebSummit