Jon Udell

Jon Udell

Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer, and new media innovator. His 1999 book, Practical Internet Groupware, helped lay the foundation for what we now call social software. Udell was formerly a software developer at Lotus, BYTE Magazine's executive editor and Web maven, and an independent consultant.

From 2002 to 2006 he was InfoWorld's lead analyst, author of the weekly Strategic Developer column, and blogger-in-chief. During his InfoWorld tenure he also produced a series of screencasts and an audio show that continues as Interviews with Innovators on the Conversations Network. In 2007 Udell joined Microsoft as a writer, interviewer, speaker, and experimental software developer. Currently he is building and documenting a community information hub that's based on open standards and runs in the Azure cloud.

Peer-to-Peer Peer-to-Peer
by Nelson Minar, Marc Hedlund, Clay Shirky, Tim O'Reilly, Dan Bricklin, David Anderson, Jeremie Miller, Adam Langley, Gene Kan, Alan Brown, Marc Waldman, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Aviel Rubin, Roger Dingledine, Michael Freedman, David Molnar, Rael Dornfest, Dan Brickley, Theodore Hong, Richard Lethin, Jon Udell, Nimisha Asthagiri, Walter Tuvell, Brandon Wiley
February 2001
Print: $29.95

Practical Internet Groupware Practical Internet Groupware
by Jon Udell
October 1999

Jon blogs at:

Mapping the decentralization movement

June 11 2014

“Right now we’re experiencing a moment of maximum centralization,” says Scott Rosenberg in his introduction to a new effort that combines “a tech-industry beat I will cover; a cultural investigation and conversation I will undertake; and a personal-publishing venture I am kicking off now.” We’ve been here before. The Internet… read more

A world without hearsay

June 06 2014

If you received email from me in the early 2000s, it would have arrived with an attachment I routinely added to my messages. The attachment was my digital signature, the output of an algorithm that combined my message with the private half of my cryptographic key pair. If you had… read more

Jeremy Dorn’s excellent JSON forms editor

May 30 2014

The lingua franca for web data is a format called JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). It’s easier for people and machines to read and write than its predecessor, XML. And because JSON is JavaScript it’s a natural choice for a web increasingly powered by JavaScript code. Like XML before it, though,… read more

Everything is amazing and I am grateful

May 24 2014

Last night I hung out with friends who hadn’t heard Louis CK’s profound rant, everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. The central character is a guy experiencing WiFi on one of the first flights to offer it. He’s online at 30,000 feet, among the first ever to watch YouTube videos while… read more

Can we tether email to “the truth”?

May 23 2014

“I wish we had trackback for emails.” – Robert Scoble, circa 2006 My source for that quote is Jeff Sandquist, who hired both Robert Scoble and me to work at Microsoft. We are a company with a deeply-rooted email culture. Robert was bemoaning the lack of peripheral awareness that blogging… read more

Joint custody of data

May 16 2014

Benjamin Mako Hill has long hosted his own email server. In Google Has Most Of My Email Because It Has All Of Yours, he rethinks that strategy after this conversation: A few years ago, I was surprised to find out that my friend Peter Eckersley — a very privacy conscious… read more

Multi-persona architectures, then and now

May 09 2014

Thali is, among other things, a powerful reminder of just how far ahead of the curve Groove was back in 2000. The other day I spoke with Omer Eiferman and Oren Ladaan about Cellrox, an isolation technology for Android that virtualizes the operating system’s kernel for multiple user spaces. It’s… read more

Fellow travelers: Thali and telehash

May 07 2014

Thali isn’t the only software project that wants to connect people and devices securely and directly. One of our fellow travelers is telehash, which Jeremie Miller describes as “a secure wire protocol powering a decentralized overlay network for apps and devices.” I caught up with Jeremie yesterday on a… read more

The P in P2P is People

April 15 2014

When Groove launched somebody asked me to explain why it was an important example of peer-to-peer technology. I said that was the wrong question. What mattered was that Groove empowered people to communicate directly and securely, form ad-hoc networks with trusted family, friends, and associates, and exchange data freely within… read more

Shiny old things

April 02 2014

We’ve lived in New England for 25 years. It’s been a great place to raise a family but that’s done, so we’re moving to northern California. The key attractors are weather and opportunity. Winter has never been our friend, and if we had needed convincing (we didn’t) the winter of… read more

The next thing

March 24 2014

The Elm City project was my passion and my job for quite some time. It’s still my passion but no longer my job. The model for calendar syndication that I created is working well in a few places, but hasn’t been adopted widely enough to warrant ongoing sponsorship by my… read more

Circular progress

March 19 2014

Back when progress bars were linear, not circular, there was an idea that browser-based apps could be written in more than one programming language. One implementation of that idea was called ActiveX Scripting, which was supported by Internet Explorer (and other Windows apps). Of course the ActiveX moniker turned out… read more

What is a public information officer?

March 13 2014

If you’re a public information officer, what do you do? According to Wikipedia: Public Information Officers (PIOs) are the communications coordinators or spokespersons of certain governmental organizations (i.e. city, county, school district, state government and police/fire departments). They differ from public relations departments of private organizations in that marketing plays… read more