Now it’s the IDESG
In a demonstration of good judgement, NIST has changed the abbreviation of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group from IESG to IDESG. (The original abbreviation collided with that of the more-well-known Internet Engineering Steering Group.)
I'm still unsure of the chances of success for the IDESG. On one hand, the participants certainly seem to be very motivated to do good and useful work. On the other hand, the fact that there seems to be a steady stream of press releases about the activity of the group leads me wonder if the IDESG will turn out to be nothing more than an exercise in frustration that's just designed to let the government say that it's really working with the private sector to help solve today's important issues while nothing substantial gets done. I've never seen a technology working group issue a steady stream of press releases, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention.
I'd say that the biggest challenge facing the IDESG is the fact that it's so popular. There are over 500 participants so far, and getting a concensus from that many people is not easy. Particularly when both the user experience and security are both being considered, for example. It's easy to say that it's both easy to use AND secure, but then try to implement a system that actually does both well. (If you can do this, please check out the open jobs at Voltage.)
So right now, while I'm definitely hoping that the IDESG turns out to be a huge success, I'll also not be surprised at all if it fails miserably. In the language of quantum mechanics (because the class that I'm taking on that topic is still going on), we can roughly write
|IDESG> = (1/√2) (|failure> + |success>)
I'll update this state to reflect what the group does in the future. And by then, I'll be finished with the quantum mechanics class, so I won't feel the need to use extremely obscure notation to express a 50-50 chance of success. And I hope that |IDESG> will have collapsed to just |success>.