Who Are You

by Thomas Vander Wal in , , ,

The person is the center of focus in the Personal InfoCloud, but each person has to interact with others and others' information. It is at this point of interaction where identity becomes important. We use many services around the web. From Epinions to LinkedIn to our personal blogs and beyond we all have many identities and usernames. These "can" be manageable for ourselves, but often our friends value what we say and some of our opinions. We are also interested in what others say, for those opinions and taste that run similar to ours. We also are a verbose bunch writing in volumes over time. We also comment and review on many different services, like restaurant reviews on Yahoo Local, Amazon A9, and other sites.

Now lets say we are going to another city on travel. How do we leverage our friend's opinions and their network of friends reviews? In part we need granular social networks, but we also need digital identity that works.

The digital identity light went off thanks to Brett Lider and it has been a deep interest in the many months since. This may have also been triggered by the Identity Gang and the Gilmore Gang's December 30, 2004 digital identity show. Identity has been a solution fraught with schisms and opposing camps, but it seems to be coming together to some degree at this point. The more I read about digital identity from the Identity Gang and in particular Kim Cameron I realize it is central to the Personal InfoCloud.

At this point we need to modify our address books or use their notes forms to dump in our friends identities and usernames we know about across the various systems we interact with them on. This is unmanageable and not easily usable at this point. But if we want to follow John Doe and his reviews we have to know he uses jdoe, doe, paininmaximus, and 33482aad across various systems. We have to know what systems he is what identifier/username. Now lets say he gave us a card/key that he managed what we knew and he could update as he changed his information. We could then use that information in our own aggregation of information he has posted