PubShare: Crowdsourcing Permissions for Group Communications

People need to share to get their work done, but today's environment makes that hard for both the people doing the work and those administering the systems they use. Because people can't easily delegate subsets of their permissions, administrators become overloaded with work, which leads to long wait times. Long wait times encourage people to work around the system, making things both harder to use and less secure. We can do better, as illustrated by PubShare, a tool developed by Marc Stiegler for managing group communications.

At its heart, PubShare is a publication/subscription service that conforms to the Amazon Simple Notification Service interfaces, except for the access control parts. Normally, an individual is either a publisher or a subscriber of a topic. However, when a group of people are both publishers and subscribers, the topic behaves more like a wiki. The unique feature of PubShare is the way permissions are managed and responsibiltiy assigned, which are best explained in a five minute video.

PubShare is based on the prinicples of Rich Sharing. More detail is available from the PubShare page. You'll notice that PubShare never interrupts you with annoying security dialog boxes. That's because supporting Rich Sharing makes it possible to build user interfaces that have no clicks for security.

Try It Out Yourself

Click the above link (The page uses a self-signed certificate, so you'll have to click through one or more dialog boxes.), and enter your email address to receive URLs for the following activities:

(Note: The FireFox browser, version 3.5 or greater, is strongly recommended for this application.)


PubShare is experimental software that is not supported by the Hewlett-Packard Company. It may stop working or lose your event history at any time. While all communication is over HTTPS, the data you post is not protected by encryption or other means, so you should treat such data as public. Use your PubSub Feedback Topic to send comments and to ask questions, or send your comments and questions to