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Digital Identity Archives

May 6, 2000

Empowering Communities of Consumers

The coming economic era and precepts are emerging as totally different from industrial capitalism. We're learning that e-businesses and their networks destroy many of our basic concepts of production, marketing and distribution. Jeremy Rifkin [1] notes that in this "Age of Access" we are entering an era in which lifelong customer relationships are the ultimate commodities market. This provides a different, more positive, and perhaps more likely view.

FIRST MONDAY is one of the first peer-reviewed journals on the Internet, about the Internet. First Monday expands the frontiers of academic publishing by combining the traditional values of peer review with publication on the World Wide Web. To read the full contents of “The COMsumer Manifesto”

INTRODUCTION

The COMsumer Manifesto:
Empowering Communities of Consumers Through the Internet

The coming economic era and precepts are emerging as totally different from industrial capitalism. We're learning that e-businesses and their networks destroy many of our basic concepts of production, marketing and distribution. Jeremy Rifkin [1] notes that in this "Age of Access" we are entering an era in which lifelong customer relationships are the ultimate commodities market. This provides a different, more positive, and perhaps more likely view.

The Internet is changing business models and empowering consumers to create new communities that combine the power to aggregate rich sources of individually personalized data in real-time activities. Large-scale data aggregators are emerging to navigate and mediate info markets. While information records are proliferating, new standards for content capture and management are appearing. Most companies continue to hope they will control their customers' information assets. However, what if this is not true or becomes impossible? What if consumers decide to band together and control their own personal information? Are you ready to freely give your customers their data records? Are you prepared to live up to the COMsumer Manifesto?

This article offers a disruptive antidote to the hierarchical, closed, supply-system, explicit, knowledge-driven, "We Know What You Want" data mine world where many customers feel powerless. This is a world well beyond 1999's "Net Worth" [2] and 2000's "The Cluetrain Manifesto" [3]. Infomediaries are not just trustworthy agents which sit between the vendor and the customer [2], and markets are not just conversations [3]. In this new world, communities sense needs, desires, and wishes for the future and create new data markets - to which organizations must respond or die! We are closing in on the "tipping point" [4] where COMsumers take complete control of their destiny by collectively owning their personal information assets

The COMsumer Manifesto

We, the people who live in an interconnected, on-line, real-time world, declare that:

* We realize that the most important thing we own is information: data about our purchases, our preferences, and ourselves.

* We want instant connections - no delays! - to others in the network via systems which are invisible to us but controlled by us.

* We expect all suppliers to us to recognize the common courtesy of automatically and invisibly providing our information accounts with records of our transactions.

* We insist on free access and maximum transparency in all transactions on the network. This implies the free exchange of open information standards and our involvement in their ongoing development.

* We determine at all times if we participate in the network ("opt-in") or withdraw ("opt-out"). We will agree to timed commitments for the data aggregation processing and expect that these agreements will be "rolled-over" (say, semi-annually) in normal circumstances.

* In short, permission remains with us. We determine the level and degree of privacy we desire and we will share our data with those we trust.

* We have no desire for data about us to be stored in some remote inaccessible corporate databases which are "mined" for the benefit of the owners rather than ourselves.

* Therefore, we resolve to take ownership of our personal data ourselves and in conjunction with info fund managers maximise the value that can accrue to us.

* We recognise that the number of uses and opportunity grows as the network grows and will tend to infinity.

* Collectively, we realize that all of us have the potential to be better than any one of us in generating new ideas / knowledge.

* We believe that new wealth is created through the collective sharing of our largely tacit knowledge and codifying this with others of like interests into new potential market needs.

* We believe that enormous efficiencies will result when what groups of consumers want is more easily articulated and understood.

* We call ourselves COMsumers and believe in investing our information for the common good of the planet. We will share what it is important to share and keep private those details that might empower outsiders to interfere in the lives of individuals in our community.

As we grow in number so will the wishes and desires of our community. We commit to capturing our collective wish lists of wants, desires and dreams and monitor how these change from time to time. After all, the willingness to dream reflects our desire to make these things come true. This is the best possible hope for our collective future.

November 12, 2002

Sharing Personal Data

Xeni Jardin writes in Wired about Plaxo a new company started by one of the Napster founders. Like Napster, it involves P2P sharing with an index system. But this time it's personal data. See the Plaxo site and how Plaxo works. I'm not convinced.

It apparently works by taking my Outlook address book and sending a request to each addressee asking them for updates. This sounds like a spam solution to me. If I did it, all the addresses that I have automatically added to outlook would be spammed or I would have to spend considerable time editing my address book first. How will companies respond? When their employees start downloading Plaxo? Where does privacy sit and as Xeni notes... where is the business model.


I'd much prefer a real peer to peer system. Something that just automates or calls for an updated record everytime I e-mail. Or should my details change automatically update my addressees using an invisible exchange method. I see no reason why this should sit on a central server Let's hope it doesn't take off. It may be a beta, and you will have to search for the privacy policy. The privacy policy appears leave you at risk.

January 3, 2003

Identity, Reputations

<a title="Eric Norlin's Blog" href="http://www.unchartedshores.com/blogger/blogger3.html"><b>Eric Norlin's Blog</b></a> <i>"Mitch brings up the idea of individuals being able to manage access to their Digital ID (in exchange for money) as the killer app. I agree -- it is. However, I think we're 8to10 years from that happening, and there are a lot of intermediate steps in between." </i>

My comment.<b>We (CONSUMERS) can't wait 10 years! </b>We need a better solution.

<a title="RatcliffeBlog: Business, Technology & Investing" href="http://www.ratcliffe.com/bizblog/2003/01/02.html"><b>RatcliffeBlog</b>: Business, Technology & Investing</a> Not marketing, legalese (for lack of a better word)

<a title="Escapable Logic" href="http://www.blaserco.com/blogs/2003/01/02.html#a72"><b>Escapable Logic</b></a> Brett Blazer on "When Meatspace isn't Marketspace" .... digesting... identities... reputations...

Also reading the <b><a href="http://www.pingid.com/misc/Whitepaper_Identity_Federation.pdf">PingID</a></b> whitepaper.

January 9, 2003

TDMA - INBOUND POST

Suggestion. Use TDMA an open source protocol along with a postal charging mechanism to control and incent the development of inbound digital mail and eliminate SPAM. Putting a cost on digital mail will make marketers more efficient and selective. It will also create a market when you pay consumers for more detailed information.

After my COMsumer POST blog on Tuesday; Mitch Radcliffe blogged a segment of my post (ah for an editor!) and the discussion that followed was very helpful to me. His objections my para-phrasing was one I have heard before. People won't give up their current e-mail addresses to do this. There are a great many problems with ISP's and you can't fiddle with how it currently works.

The discussion led to looking at TDMA. TDMA works on the basis of whitelists.

" The way TMDA thwarts incoming junk-mail is simple yet extremely effective. You maintain a "whitelist" of trusted contacts which are allowed directly into your mailbox. Messages from unknown senders are held in a pending queue until they respond to a confirmation request sent by TMDA. Once they respond to the confirmation, their original message is deemed legitimate and is delivered to you. Updating your whitelist insures they won't have to confirm future messages. TMDA can even be configured to automatically whitelist confirmed senders. To see what the confirmation process looks like, send me a test message, and then reply to the confirmation request.

This methodology has the advantage of being very selective about what it allows in, while at the same time permitting legitimate, but previously unknown senders to reach you......"

TDMA is not alone in developing a whitelist approach. See Bruce Simpson's September thougths. Kevin Werbach also wrote "Death by Spam" in November. TDMA may be the only open source choice however.

So consider. Is it possible to use TDMA as part of a spam-killing postal system? You know add a postal metering / franking system link it to my paypal account, which means I'm verified to get my digital post. Then if you can also insure that everything is encrypted as it goes each way? I'm assuming it is P2P, and that I will adopt a standardised or recommended rate card.

Then I'm not only getting money for receiving post and making the planet a better place, I also know the commission I pay to the service (like VISA) is adding to the security and integrity of the overall system.

This solution alone doesn't answer the pressing business issue. How can I improve my returns on direct mail beyond just going digital? For marketers require profiles -- data. TDMA with a payment system can improve inbound effiencies with verified accounts - addresses. The same system can work in the reverse, when consumers create profiles of real value.

The very same consumers can enable whitelist profile sharing in exchange for postal access.

March 27, 2003

Identity Circles

I’m sharing this emergent - thought piece today. I can’t vouch for the approach or the technology. In a nutshell it ’s a speculative identity solution, using a nice metaphor “Circles”, P2P (peer-to-peer) underpinnings and posing an ownership approach that looks like a cooperative. Is it off the wall? Perhaps it can't be done. Objections? Thoughts? Abandon?

IDENTITY CIRCLES CIRCLES enrich and enhance life’s many connections. Whom you know has never been so important. Professional, Business, Community, Friends, creating circles of trust that you control. Now you can be more connected and share what and when you want. In CIRCLES you can discover a whole new range of connections, intersections where you connect for fun, influence, advice, learning. Today’s world is connected. Sometimes for fleeting moments or maybe for a lifetime. We move, we change addresses, our contacts change from year to year. Yet serendipity still strikes.

We meet friends in unexpected places, and find old work or college colleagues when we least expect them. CIRCLES let’s you grow and learn from whom you know. So together we travel many different circles and through many different roles. Collectively we learn we have a lot more to offer, when we don’t always know what we can do for each other. Cooperatively we learn together, individuals can create more value from their profiles that they can individually seeding them at many different destinations. There are valid reasons for public and commerical interests. Under Circles you control access.

So what’s different? Safe and secure in your circle, you are part of a many circles environment that makes up “many trusted circles”. CIRCLES guarantees your privacy and the privacy of your friends. Under Circles there is no more spam. The information is yours alone to share and trade as you wish. Circles is merely a commerical and public broker of information. Tomorrow's Post Office. How is it done? see the extended entry....

You begin by building your profile with your own circle of trust. This P2P based component puts your profile on your PC or personal mobile device (on or off whenever you like). When you open your account you will be required to find three friends to secure your profile and join the network. The friends provide backup (secure keyed) in case your encrypted data is lost. They can’t see your data, however their systems can broadcast for you should you be offline for any reason. (We see something similar in music with Kazaa).

This provides a built in redundancy and back-up using your friends, so you can store all your data safely. Effectively you have a duplicate safe deposit boxes for your key personal information. Your information profile is secured on your PC and controlled – served- only by you. Similarly accounts for family members may be stored there. (Freenet)

Within the P2P network that makes up Circles (think close friends) you can connect with friends of friends (buddylists/Friendster/Ryze Friends). You can look up friends knowing a phone number address or name and request that they add you to your contacts list. As a consequence you will never have to update your address book again. Some connections will also be temporary (eg Child’s sports team parent list). Circles makes these easy.

Within Circles, the Jabber IM solution (?) automatically lets you chat and talk to friends. You can send messages, share files or simply VOIP, while also enabling new conversations and searches to connect with friends of friends. Circles helps those important introductions. Similarly, Circles will keep you private if you don’t want unwelcome intrusions. You control the access to your profile. This becomes even more important as your profile becomes increasingly mobile with you.

We expect many of your current relationship providers will want to expand your profile. For example, a corporate profile (that depending on the company and policies may want to keep public or private) and similarly a health record. As Circles is an Open Source project we expect these profiles to be standardized over time.

While Circles enable you to enhance and grow your network we are also working to create commercial opportunities you profit from while putting an economic value on your attention.

Who Controls Circles, who’s in charge?

Circles approach is to create a cooperative connectivity system. Imagine the post, phone fax and e-mail service owned by you and me. First and foremost you serve your own information. Circles simply provides the enabling and verification service for public and commercial access, those not in your friends list, and all commercial contacts. To activate this opportunity you create a verified contact account at the Circles Common. Correspondingly your employer may open and verify an employee account.

When you activate your CIRCLES account you join our cooperative and are paid for your attention dependent on the commercial and pubic content consumed. (Paypal Account). It’s simple really. Imagine a world without mailboxes at your front door, and yet someone wants to send you a letter or a video or a voice message. Where do they send it? It’s easy if they have your address. It’s hard if you don’t! Economically you can make it cheaper for direct mailers, your key bill providers and others to reach you. When you reduce their costs, you can make money. That way Circles earns it’s transaction fee (Visa) on each delivery. That is the economics of attention. The sender pays, not the receiver.

You participate already, each time you see an add on TV it costs you thirty seconds. With Circles activated it is on your terms and timetable. Alternatively it can be set by your employer for certain hours as part of your “attention contract”. Remember not all offers are bad, and as others learn your interests you are more likely to get information that is useful to you. This goes for the organization as well, (however the organization will be paid for those interruptions).

Similarly, small commercial transactions (eg the plumber, lawnmower, acccountant etc) may request to sign and leave a commercial greeting card. (Think Ryze guest book) Your rating and reference will then be available for other friends etc in the neighborhood. (Xpertweb??)

To fund Circles growth and the market for the information assets you are prepared to share …..

1. Circles Members receive a monthly attention payment dependent on the collective rate schedule as determined from time to time. The rate schedule for personal accounts will be set to recover the costs of your broadband connection over the course of the year based on average participation levels. Thus as a cooperative our aim is to make digital connectivity available and free for all.

2. Each Circles member becomes a shareholder, vesting overtime based on participation. Each member will be deemed fully vested at 60 years of age and must have participated for a minimum of 5 years. Circles will buyback your shares at that time based on the value of the collective income pool adjusted for current vesting levels.

3. Your shares in the coop will represent a “life time” information asset, which after 50% vesting you may sell at any time. This reflects the collective value you have created for the community overtime valued at the point you sell it.

4. We aim to grow the market for your information assets. Our success is dependent on your participation. Once we have basic accounts up and running we will enable opt-in opportunities. We all know one consumer interested in buying a car won’t save much. However, 10000 consumers wanting to buy a similar car could save a lot. Information brokers chosen and acceptable to you can act on your behalf in ways that are not dissimilar to priceline and accompany (now defunct).


Benefits:

  • Only you control access to your information.
  • Circles brokers introductions and eases personal, social, business and professional exchanges.
  • Circles creates a valuable economic asset, that grows with the collective value of shared information assets in the community.
  • Circles aims to “connect” everyone on earth digitally, just like the original post and telephone, but this time for free.

Continue reading "Identity Circles" »

May 7, 2003

Exchanging Trust

There's an interesting discussion around trust fueled by Pierre's blog and Mr G's follow-up on the Global Trust Exchange. It began with a question "What for?".  Somehow I think some posts are at cross purposes, when everyone could really be eating cake. 

It's not surprising.  Trust is not a simple word to define. Trust is situational, it is also mine.  Do I trade trust? And what's a trust exchange? If we are not sure of motives -- when trust's involved we are even more likely to jump to conclusions.

In a trust vein we looked at adding friends on Ryze.  "Will you be my friend?" and concluded we stopped asking questions like that long ago.  We've learnt that trust has many different faces.  In one instance I may ask you to be a referree on a job.  However, it's still possible that while I trust you with that reference, I may not trust you to cut down a tree.  Similarly I may be happy to refer you but conditions may be attached.

The problem here is in the name GTX not the concept. What's needed are illustrations.  In GTX connections between parties are defined by layers of permission and access.  These are friend to friend and not generic.  The brilliance in Net Deva is in the definitions and ultimately the simple way in which it makes connections, referrals and introductions. while paying attention to affinities and the type of relationship you have. 

Consider Pierre, Joi, William and Mr G.  Pierre asks Joi to be a financial reference and provides "Nickel Exchange details" plus general contact information etc by providing access to a rich profile format on GTX.  Joi is pleased to be a referee and accepts putting the minimum amount of information relating to himself into the system. He adds no further contacts, but over time others contact him, linking their business cards.  Similarly Pierre secures other referees.  For he's learnt that there are connections between us that hold hidden value. 

Example at a networking event or a conference when meeting someone new we cross-reference on books, people, places, and names possible connections pop up.  These are ones we sense might be worth sharing a little of our social capital on and making an introduction.

Now William is in the GTX and is looking for a connection and introduction to the Nickel Exchange. Without GTX it may take forever to find someone who knows his work and may provide an introduction.  With GTX he keys in his request and gets a list back of possible connections.  He's pleased to see Joi is on his list.  Now there are many levels, dependent on all the relationships that each have with each other.  If William is merely an aquaintance of Joi's the next exchange will be very different from finding out one of his partners (Joi possibly) knows Pierre. 

Now imagine you have a plumber come to your home.  On completing the job he asks if you might be a local reference for him - valid for a year. You are pleased with his work.  You say yes.  Now a neighbor is looking for a plumber (of course you don't know this).  Rather than waiting to ask friends they key into GTX, and find there are three people they are connected to via their daughters school class.  Three of them have the same plumber listed by name.  A fourth has a connection to a plumber but the name is not visible.  One parent you know very well.  Rather than calling them you call the plumber direct..... For the plumber has given access to his business details (super yellow page listing) though his trusted business referrals.  It's quite possible that the same plumber doesn't enable the same visibility via his church group.  Although members of his church group may be someone the neighbor could connect with who knows of a plumber. 

The trust issue is more I fear more of context here.  The examples are possible.  It's been done and there's an initial prototype. I've viewed Net Deva and want to see it rolled out.  It deserves further funding.  Ultimately a trust exchange may emerge.   

 Possible applications. 

  • An enterprise wants to intiate a socially innovative client service and business development strategy
  • An enterprise wants to lower the cost of human capital acqusition, finding new recruits though their network of employees, suppliers and key customers.
  • A jobseeker wants to build a network of trusted referrals which will help get a new job and bring more value when newly employed
  • A small company links to a multide of professional free agents, their access to talent just went up exponetially.   
  • An individual wants to find someone who lived in Holland in 1983.
  • A non-profit wants to raise money. They want to direct their volunteers to target specific organizational accounts.  Who best to reach out and approach? What groups could be put together? 
  • that's enough for now

The real issues for "this trusted rich profile exchange" is in securing the numbers, ensuring and controlling access, security from spam and simply managing expectations.  In my view there's an organizational / enterprise model and a public model.  Usability must be kept simple.

So has the Global Trust Exchange just been miss-interpreted? Is it the language or the concept? We all exchange information all the time for value creation. See the applications.  The real question is what's the value of your missed opportunities? Can you afford not to experiment in this space.  If you are a large enterprise, a professional networking community or non-profit foundation, Net Deva is a nugget that may reframe how you do business. 

 

June 5, 2003

Planetwork Meetup

Hope to see some of you at Planetwork starting tomorrow at the Presidio in San Francisco.  Should be a good event.  More on final preparation here on Glacial Erratics

Some early fireworks.  Probably been blogged in all sorts of places ..... see Andruis and Marc  just great thinking from Andruis -- there's a document in in there just waiting for a wiki editor.  Then see Owen and Marc and hope this trajectory finds a productive path.  Then look at Marc's Community Commons map which is just brilliant - elements of have been surfacing from time to time.  Solutions will be driven into this space regardless. Let's all contribute to insure our children's liberty.

November 11, 2004

The Q-Card Jyve-Tag

So what makes the first Skype application from Qzoxy and Jyve so very interesting? It's a smart VCard and here is a picture and of the working prototype today, a mere illustration of what will exist a year from now. If you are operating a call center, a social networking site, dating site, 900 business etc. think it through. I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT USES YOU SEE EMERGING?

Marc Canter of FOAF fame? Then to quote David Weinberger "It'd integrate with other applications on your phone device. It'd know who's calling from where and spin up a web page to show you the relevant information. It'd link to everything the Net knows.". Is this part of what you want David?

qzoxy jyve 111104.jpg
You too can add it for free at Jyve. Click on the Jyve-Tags button. You will need a Jyve profile to participate. A simplified form is likely to be in the works. There is no charge. Jyve won't be alone offering Q-Cards, others will come to offer the Qzoxy Q-Card. Where I think an interesting immediate experiment could be made would be to provide the Q-Card with TypePad accounts substituting for the current e-mail link.

A couple of things worth pointing out. You don't need to have Skype to send in a call request. Thus even POTS only can request a Skype call back which at your option can be executed at SkypeOut rates. In time I'm sure this VCard no Q-Card will evolve to tell you the best way to get me at any moment and how long you have to wait. Q - Que. That's more useful than Plaxo (I don't use it) which merely updates phone numbers. Then there are a lot of paying businesses that work around the "click to connect". There is a lot of opportunity here.

The Skype API has been noted by Tom Keating and Andy Abramson of course. Still if you go back to the Skype API announcement page you will see that they missed the real story as "presence" isn't mentioned. Frankly I think it is the biggest story of all and they clearly need to get a team working on it. There's some additional client features that the developers and us users will require. The picture above should be worth way more than a thousand directory services! The fun is only just beginning.

September 27, 2006

Social Group Dynamics of Online Identity Production --- ARRRG!

I had to clip a couple of sections from this post Los Angeles 2026 in New Scientist by Bruce Sterling and picked up by WorldChanging. My bold highlights. Thing is, it's not 2026 and it is scary enough to be almost today. Sometimes it is hard to make imaginations really reach out. There are dangers sure.

I'm in India not China, and certainly not working to create an identity production mentality. Still Bruce's slant makes it clear why "Social Networking Sites" remain essentially broken. In that 2004 post I wrote "Fragmenting association systems does not enable better connections. Integration on to my desktop (address book / IM systems) at minimum and preferably into my cellphone is required ..". It hasn't happened yet. One day it will. Controls will be with the users.

In the second paragraph Bruce slips into the darker side of rich old men. I'm more optimistic. I think we will create human centric systems owned by you and me. I think all the trends run against Bruce's world. I only have to look at how my kids already manage privacy, to know that great conversation and dialogues come with trust. My kids will not be entering this world and I certainly don't want to retire to it.

My Dad - he's still alive, apparently - he sent me an email from China and said I ought to "recruit" Debbie into my "social group dynamics of online identity production". My Dad always talks like that. I haven't seen Dad face-to-face in six years. Look: I am a 17-year-old male, okay? I don't want to send Debbie any hotlinks and digital video. I want to take Debbie out! ..........

It's not that we can't do it: it's that all our social relations have been reified with a clunky intensity. They're digitized! And the networking hardware and software that pervasively surround us are built and owned by evil, old, rich corporate people! Social-networking systems aren't teenagers! These machines are METHODICALLY KILLING OUR SOULS! If you don't count wall-graffiti (good old spray paint), we have no means to spontaneously express ourselves. We can't "find ourselves" - the market's already found us and filled us with map pins. New Scientist

October 8, 2006

Lawyers and Identity

Paul Madsen up in Ottawa, posts the following exchange between lawyers over identity. My apologies Paul for re-posting in its entirety. It's just like those funny e-mails, a portion would kill the fun. Take a look at his blog. Now also in my newsreader!


Lawyers would love to be this involved in every identity exchange.

Lawyer 1: My client is willing to provide first name.
Lawyer 2: C'mon, that would be like milking the horse before the cow, my client absolutely needs email address.
Lawyer 1: What if we threw in postal code?
Lawyer 2: For home address? or shipping address?
Lawyer 1: My client would be willing to give both if you got rid of the ridiculous request for their sexual preference.
Lawyer 2: It's not ridiculous, my client needs that information before deciding whether or not to proceed with this relationship.
Lawyer 1: C'mon, we're in a gay bar, get it from the context!
Lawyer 2: Ok, ok, we can bend on this. But not on email address - that's a must have.
Lawyer 1: (after whispering with client) Ok, here you go.
Lawyer 2: What the &$%@# is this? I said we wanted an email address!
Lawyer 1: It's a URI. It's like an email address but protects my client's privacy. Your client would go that web page and leave a message.
Lawyer 2: Where did you learn your law? I didn't say we wanted something 'like' an email address. I said we needed 'an' email address. Jeez, go read PIPEDA before wasting our time like this (packing up papers).
Lawyer 1: C'mon, sit down and relax. My client will provide her real address on the condition that it not be shared with anybody else and thrown away after a week (whispering with client) Oh, wait, clarification, not shared with anybody ugly.
Lawyer 2: (after whispering with client) Would writing it on the bathroom wall be considered acceptable usage?
Lawyer 1: (more whispering) My client says yes, but only in a small font.

ConnectID: Consenting Lawyers


May 30, 2007

Blog Ping from the Past - Identity Circles

When one gets out of the habit of blogging we can forget some of the reasons why it was so important to us. I used to use my blog continually for sending links and updates to others. It provided a steady stream of what I'd been thinking about, testing and what I'm following. Even today I get pings from the past on a post I've written. I really appreciate them.

Hi Stuart,

I stumbled upon an intriguing post of yours dated March 2003. It's about "Identity Circles": http://www.henshall.com/blog/archives/000182.html . Put it today, it would still be ahead of its time. It's quite amazing that you had this vision back in 2003.

I'm curious if that was your wishes at the time or you actually worked on it to realize this vision. Any company that you are aware of which has achieved a good part of your grand vision? It would be interesting to know. Do you have any plan to have a follow-up post on the current status for this space?

Thanks and best regards,

Joshua

Thank you Joshua! Sometimes we need reminders. I believed then in the core ideas for Identity Circles and have been working on in this area although I'm learning there is still a long way to go. I'm going to give some thought to your request for a follow-up post. In the meantime I thought I'd just republish a segment of it.

IDENTITY CIRCLES enrich and enhance life's many connections. Whom you know has never been so important. Professional, Business, Community, Friends, creating circles of trust that you control. Now you can be more connected and share what and when you want. In CIRCLES you can discover a whole new range of connections, intersections where you connect for fun, influence, advice, learning. Today's world is connected. Sometimes for fleeting moments or maybe for a lifetime. We move, we change addresses, our contacts change from year to year. Yet serendipity still strikes.

We meet friends in unexpected places, and find old work or college colleagues when we least expect them. CIRCLES let's you grow and learn from whom you know. So together we travel many different circles and through many different roles. Collectively we learn we have a lot more to offer, when we don't always know what we can do for each other. Cooperatively we learn together, individuals can create more value from their profiles than they can individually seeding them at many different destinations. There are valid reasons for public and commercial interests. Under Circles you control access.

So what's different? Safe and secure in your circle, you are part of a many circles environment that makes up many trusted circles. CIRCLES guarantees your privacy and the privacy of your friends. Under Circles there is no more spam. The information is yours alone to share and trade as you wish. Circles is merely a commercial and public broker of information. Tomorrow's Post Office. How is it done? see the extended entry....

You begin by building your profile with your own circle of trust. This P2P based component puts your profile on your PC or personal mobile device (on or off whenever you like). When you open your account you will be required to find three friends to secure your profile and join the network. The friends provide backup (secure keyed) in case your encrypted data is lost. They can't see your data, however their systems can broadcast for you should you be offline for any reason. (We see something similar in music with Kazaa). READ MORE


What I still believe is the control must rest with the individual. That we must own our own identity, that it must be both private and secure. It won't happen without open standards.

Perhaps in this last line "Circles creates a valuable economic asset, that grows with the collective value of shared information assets in the community. Circles aims to "connect" everyone on earth digitally, just like the original post and telephone, but this time for free."

This partially serves to highlight why I thought Skype was such a big thing when it launched. Yet today the world of networks and communications is many times more complex. Identity Circles will only emerge when we have an abstract identity layer in place. When you and I can have one name for all communications with complete control over what we share and who has access. So in a way nothing has changed, we still need this.

July 17, 2007

Facebook and Mydentity

A few years ago (about 2002) there was a meme Mydentity I think first put up by Eric Norlin and others summarized here by Doc Searls which had me writing about Trust Circles.

Two months ago I considered launching a "Facebook Journal"as I am ready for a new challenge and I'd learnt from Skype Journal what both the advantages and disadvantages of such a strategy are. While it could be done; (there are some "Facebook" Tracking blogs already out there) the thought really traced to Facebook's evolution and the excitement it would generate. Yet it is not the real meme that is exploding here. Under it all is a greater need  for an "Identity solution"

Then at Supernova I missed seeing much chatter about Facebook (Kevin tried to insert it). The following week we arranged a small Facebook Face-Off - a small group adding applications in an accelerated learning and communications session. I'd recommend this to anyone, even novices who haven't been on any of these networks before. 

Three memes have recently emerged that are interesting to me.

  • Concentrating SNS on Facebook:
  • Facebook as an Identity Solution
  • Stuart Henshall is Media
My SNS on Facebook
I'd already started concentrating my networking efforts onto Facebook. However, it was a note by Jeff Pulver on Facebook yesterday (see his blog) that made the choice I'd already been making explicit. I'll admit that Facebook was the same ah-ha moment for me that accompanied Skype, Paypal, Napster, and eBay. I still dislike its closed nature however it works. It also means I've been inviting and enocouraging others to join. Something I've not done on a social network since Ryze. LinkedIn only existed because it was "approved" of by business types. I never had any fun there. My observation is the threshold to exchange is much lower on Facebook vs LinkedIn. Jeff notes the same re referrals. More importantly the exhaust gas from everyones activities helps to maintain and even strengthen weak ties. Facebook as Scoble notes is set to replace my contact lists.

Facebook and Identity
Any large community today can potentially offer an Identity solution. Jeremiah Owyang works of some predictions for Facebook, Identity and Social Networks. He correctly identifies that blog comments  require a better log-in system and his post provides a Books on Campus log-in via Facebook. Which is just another app. I'd be happy to provide this as an option tomorrow on my Blog. I'm still wrestling with the OpenID system in MT4.0. Perhaps a Facebook plug-in would be simpler. However using a Facebook Identity to log-in to other sites is really only half the battle. The question is will Facebook allow us to log-in with an OpenId. I'd like to see one identity for all my communications. I'd still like =stuart to mean something. However, while Facebook is aggregating my directory it is also aggregating micro-content. The power in Facebook is the directory. We don't have 1000+ connections anywhere else. In fact the belief was 150. Facebook overturns that. You cannot move a personal directory of 10000 or more. Scoble already has 3000+. I'm still waiting for an OpenID app for Facebook. It would work around communications access in a channel agnostic fashion and manage access depending on the relationship; an area where Facebook manages poorly. See also Facebook is now the New OpenID

I am Media:
I liked this post by Roi Carthy and the pharse "I am Media". He links to Robert Scoble is Media This reinforced the discussion we had yesterday in the Yitan call on Facebook. The discussion started about exhaust gas.

One of the more interesting aspects of Facebook -- at least to those over 22 years of age, for whom much of today's Net may seem counterintuitive -- is the way it works by routing seemingly insignificant exhaust data to your network of friends.

Do I really need to know the latest favorite book you posted? That you're now buddies with Sam? Apparently yes.
Facebook will reward those that share. If you believe like me that the more you share the more you will ultimately get back then Facebook shouldn't be too hard to understand. As a blogger I've learned that the more I blog the more I get back and that is a good reason to get back in the blogging habit. I'm still not using Facebook effectively, and there are many behaviors we will all learn that make it more effective.  I hear the same rejections and same not for business comments that I've heard about other social tools. Get over it. Start experimenting.

As we learn to share more it will become easier to aggregate information about ourselves. That is where the future is. In the meantime Facebook while interesting still lacks really meaningful controls.

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About Digital Identity

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Unbound Spiral in the Digital Identity category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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