Brian Oberkirch is one of my favorite bloggers. This morning Brian decided to take on identity and “glue” in a blog post. Brian writes of gluing things together via identity in a personal sense, but its got me thinking about Glue in an enterprise sense.

First, some quotes:

“Forgive me for thinking there isn’t a whole lot of life in lifestreams.  Dumb rivers of updates are a stop gap, surely better than what we had before (no centralized method for keeping watch) but not a durable solution for user or service value.  These dim aggregations cloak beautiful seams. “

And:

“What’s interesting about our current round of science projects is the glue that holds them together.

Or, rather, what you could do if you started to really think about the various forms of data glue you could give your users.  Post It Notes use weak adhesive to make your information surface mobile and the medium more plastic.  Let’s not get hung up on form factors, but intstead look to the deeper needs this rash of feature copying is trying to meet. “

And:

“By fixating on one or two specific types of data views (status messages, ‘life’ streams) we miss the larger point.  Adam Greenfield isn’t wrong when he notes that our current social software offerings are weak simulacra of the rich interplay we enjoy in our ‘real’ lives.  We aren’t going to give people richer experiences by mimicking a narrow range of interface ideas. “

The “grand problem” of Glue (in the enterprise sense) is that as “the web as platform,” “cloud computing,” and “everything as a service” move into the enterprise (a move that is starting, but will obviously take *years*), the “architects” that have to deal with that (and I mean architect to include marketers as well as IT folk) are going to struggle mightily with how it is they simplify, manage and reuse all of the stove-piped stuff that lives in different web applications.

The “seams” are the problem and the opportunity.

The “information surface” will no longer be living in large enterprise software suites.

The “end result” will resemble the weak and tenuous ties of real life networks more than the strong-armed structures of current IT architectures.

Glue, the conversation and conference, will be about those elements. I can’t wait.