Blog Ping from the Past – Identity Circles

May 30, 2007

in Digital Identity, Digital Post, Rich Profiles, Social Networks

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”: . 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,


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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

hospitality furniture August 18, 2008 at 9:22 am

That is some vision. Everyone is trying to find ways to more effectively communicate with each other and that is some good insight. It is worth some thought. It is also good to see that people are actually reading what you are writing about.

Good Information, Thanks.

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