Doc on Digital Identity

Doc Searls was the closing speaker at the recent Digital ID World conference in Denver. AKMA blogs Doc’s talk along with several others.

I wasn’t there and didn’t hear Doc first hand — but from the reports it appears his major theme was one of encouraging the community to figure out identity services “from the bottom up” — rather than having these services deployed by big companies “from the top down”. One of his postings earlier in the week made that point.

Frank Paynter thinks XNS is the answer. Maybe it is.

How might a “community identity service” such as Doc suggests emerge? How about thinking just within the community of weblog authors? Some of the weblog software includes discussion group support requiring one to establish an “identity” to be able to post/participate. Why not define/develop a shared identity capability allowing “single sign-up” to participate? The developers in the the weblog community seem to collaborate effectively embracing various “standards” such as notifying central servers of weblog updates, “publishing” RSS feeds summarizing weblog content, etc. How about collaborating on a “community identity” system?

By the way, there’s a bunch of interesting work being done in this regard in the “parallel universe” of grid computing including development of an open source community authentication service.

New question: does XNS “play” in the grid?

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