Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Identity (1) - Open and Everywhere

As digitalization makes the world a smaller place, having a recognizable identity becomes increasingly important. Especially if you are a social media evangelist, you better dive into openID possibilities. There are two sides to a digital identity:

  • The technical side (openID) which allows you to develop an ID that you can use whenever you register for a (new) social app (as long as that social app accepts openID’s).
  • The marketing side of an identity. If you have a recognizable identity you will be picked up more rapidly in Communities of Practice (I will blog on this tomorrow)

Go for an openID
An openID allows you to build a profile in a central location and registering all over the internet with that identity/profile. The advantages of an openID are apparent as soon as you subscribe to more than just a couple of social media apps. You no longer have to put in extra time to writing about yourself (profile) and you can keep your profile up to date easily (single sign-on).

If you feel one profile is not covering your persona, you can add other personae if you like and link them to the same identity. For each persona you will be asked to give some information. The openID idea is based on the open license model which wants to include everyone (the best concept of all). For this reason the OpenID Foundation was formed to assist the open source model by providing a legal entity to be the steward for the community by providing needed infrastructure and generally helping to promote and support expanded adoption of OpenID (pasted from the openID website)

Or as Brad Fitzpatrick (the father of OpenID) said: “Nobody should own this. Nobody’s planning on making any money from this. The goal is to release every part of this under the most liberal licenses possible, so there’s no money or licensing or registering required to play. It benefits the community as a whole if something like this exists, and we’re all a part of the community.”

The sooner you corner a digital identity, the bigger the chance no one else gets hold of your (preferred) identity. And let’s face it; identity is a very sensitive issue for everyone. I try to corner my chosen identity wherever and whenever I can, but sometimes I am beaten to the punch.

If you want to get really into openID, watch this video from Google tech talks, with Simon Willison as your MD. The movie is about 51 minutes long, but it gives a very accurate idea of what you can and cannot do with an openID and it also gives you some technical background information.

If you have not gotten an openID yet, try one of these sites to corner it:
Or pick one of your choice from this extensive wiki list.

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