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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Graph Databases

Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, February 15, 2013
4:03 pm

The older I get (and I’m getting pretty old),  the more I realize how little I know and understand in the ever-expanding universe of information.  But I take comfort in the fact I can learn a little bit new every today.

Today, I learned about Graph Databases.  One of the questions I posed in response to Ian Glazer’s recent post, “Killing IAM in Order to Save It,” was:

Are you proposing an entirely new data structure to manage the relationship graph? Neither LDAP directories or relational databases really model the graph well, but I am not familiar with robust and proven alternate data structures that do a better job.

That shows my ignorance of emerging database technology.  After posting that comment and sheepishly realizing Ian probably knew what he talking about, I googled “Graph Database” and came up with some interesting hits.  While it appears that graph databases are still in a fairly early stages, at least for commercialized products, this technology appears to be well ensconced in the Googles, Facebooks and Twitters of the world.

A helpful article for me was “Graph Databases: The New Way to Access Super Fast Social Data,” published last fall by Mashable.  A couple of excerpts:

While we’re certainly not predicting the demise of traditional databases anytime soon, we are seeing an increasing number of applications where graph databases are being used to accelerate development and massively speed up performance. …

The complexities and dynamics of the real world, however call, for new methods. This is particularly true when the world is moving at the speed of web, and everybody is racing to get ahead of everybody else. Intricate and complex processes like human behavior, as well as dynamic interconnected systems, such as those found in nature and on the web, tend to be less static and predictable, and are ideal candidates for graph databases. 

 That sounds like Ian Glazer talking to me.


I look forward to learning more, and particularly extending my discussion with Ian and others on the applicability of these database for Identity and Access Management.

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GigaOm: Is Blogging Dead? Like the Web Is Dead.

Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, February 24, 2011
4:16 pm

Can you hear the  solitary bugler playing Taps across the cold, forlorn blogging graveyard, just as I am making a valiant effort to rejuvenate my blog?

GigaOm reported this week:

Blogging is on the decline, according to a New York Times story published this weekend — citing research from the Pew Center’s Internet and American Life Project — and it is declining particularly among young people, who are using social networks such as Facebook instead.


according to the figures used by the New York Times itself, blogging activity is actually increasing, not decreasing. And as the story points out, plenty of young people are still blogging via the Tumblr platform, even though they may not think of it as “blogging.” What blogging is really doing is evolving.

… So what we really have now is a multitude of platforms: there are the “micro-blogging” ones like Twitter, then there are those that allow for more interaction or multimedia content like Facebook, and both of those in turn can enhance existing blogging tools like WordPress and Blogger. And then there is Tumblr, which is like a combination of multiple formats. The fact that there are so many different choices means there is even more opportunity for people to find a publishing method they like. So while “blogging” may be on the decline, personal publishing has arguably never been healthier.

I like that final observation … that personal publishing has never been healthier.  So, as I rejuvenate my blog, I will also try to leverage Twitter and Facebook to engage people out in my corner of cyberspace.  If you are so inclined, feel free to come along for the ride.

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Anti-Social Networks? Blow up the Internet!

Humor, Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, January 14, 2011
5:10 pm

Such interesting advice from a child …


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Anti-Social Networks?

Humor, Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
11:28 am

Brilliant idea, Crazy Eddie!


But maybe so-called social networks can be anti-social as well.  Have you seen any anti-social behavior on Facebook or Twitter?

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The Value of the “Real” Handshake

Identity, Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
5:38 am

Trade shows are a great place to meet face to face and build stronger relationships with your industry press.Several years ago, before Facebook and LinkedIn became household names, a partner and I formed a company named “Network Handshake LLC” and proceeded to develop a bit of social networking software called “ConnectArizona.com,” in an attempt to bring together like-minded individuals in the Arizona business community.  It was a really interesting project, but without adequate capital and marketing support, ConnectArizona.com and Network Handshake really never got off the ground (although I still own the domain names).

Time has shown that the concept of “shaking hands across the network” really has legs.  How many connections do you have on LinkedIn?  How many friends on Facebook?  What other social networks do you use?

However, this week, the power of the “real handshake,” not just the network kind, was reaffirmed.  After not attending an industry conference in well over a year, I am attending the Gartner IAM Summit in San Diego this week.  It has been delightful to engage with customers, partners and friends on a “real handshake” basis – to look individuals in the eye, firmly grasp their hands and speak directly, person to person.  While much can be said for the connecting power of teleconferences, webex sessions, email and social networks,  I believe there is no real substitute to direct, face-to-face, interpersonal communications. 

Viva la “real” handshake!

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