On claims

I too want to jump on the Technorati Profile claiming bandwagon.

What has been intriguing is the process in which claims are acquired and validated. I have been through two such processes in the past week and wanted to share my observations with you.

The first was with Spock, the people search engine that I had blogged about in an earlier post. Spock, upon logging on, asked me to assert my identity by asking my credentials for social networking sites and fetching the base information from there. There were options to hook onto LinkedIn, MySpace and so on. I use LinkedIn and my Spock identity was linked to it. What they also seem to have thought of is the possibility of multiple online identities, say LinkedIn for professional networking, MySpace for Don Juan etc. This connection establishing is done to know about your other contacts too.

The interesting thing to note is this i) Establishing ones online identity by feeding upon what has already claimed in networking sites ii) Acknowledging multiple-identities and allowing one to choose what will represent us

Today’s experience with Technorati was interesting in a different way. Being a blog aggregator it runs you through a 4 step process i) Your blog URL ii) Claim method(OpenID, Credentials of your blog and Post claim) iii) Claim activation and iv) Customize blog info. Of these just the first 3 are relevant for claiming your blog. The methods are straightforward and very intuitive. What made me perk up was the process of laying claim to who one is via a social networking site. Not sure if a standalone blog with readership of 1 can lay claim to the term “social” at all, but there it goes…

The online world transcends national boundaries, needs a more malleable notion of identity, even multiple identities to represent every microscopic differentiation that makes everyone a unique individual. No longer does SSN or any other citizen identification scheme seem our only resort to a trans-national identity. We carry our hotmail/gmail/yahoo ids as a universal moniker to reach us. Now that we are reachable, society can interact with us. It can dig into who we are, what we are and choose to connect to us.

Any framework of interaction needs a rich identity claims mechanism for responsible participation. Privacy needs have to be addressed and a whole load more issues but what is warming is the fact that things seem to be heading the right way.

What other identity claims mechanisms have you come across? What are the flaws that you see in today’s model?

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