When the Birds of a Feather Don't Flock

Submitted by Barrett on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 14:36

Some months ago, I got involved with implementing OpenID on Drupal for work. One of the things that struck me was that the OpenID modules appeared to be largely dormant. With DrupalCon coming up, the logical solution seemed to be to get together a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session. I scheduled the session, posted in the OpenID Drupal Group about the session to try to drum up support and interest among those already interested in OpenID, and tweeted about it during conference. Then the time came and I sat there alone.

The question now is, "How do I interpret that no one showed up for the session." Is it me; am I somehow being shunned by the Drupal community? Or maybe it's the technology; no one cares about OpenID. Or maybe it's just that the other BoF's scheduled for that time slot were of greater interest.

Perhaps it's just ego-protection, but I think I can rule out shunning. First, I don't think I have done anything that would warrant a shunning, and, secondly, I think the Drupal community is just too heterogeneous and loosely coupled to effectively organize a conference wide shunning.

It's possible there just isn't much interest in OpenID in the community. Certainly, OpenID has been panned of late (37signals, WekeRoad, Quora) and the lack of activity on the Drupal OpenID Group kind of hints at that interpretation.

It's also entirely possible that other things out-competed it. There were some other very intriguing BoF's going on at the same time. So perhaps the love for OpenID is there, but the love for other BoF's was greater.

I guess we'll see what happens when I propose the session for CapitalCamp this year.

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