Right now the big social net players are making a bid to be the silos of our data. Oh, they're playing nice, adopting some "open" strategies for identity "portability"... But essentially Facebook wants to be the centralized storage locker for your identity data (which you may access from third party sites,which really isn't open). Enter Brad Fitzpatrick and his dreams of microformats and a decentralized graph that lives in the Cloud. And then there's VRM... Let the claims for Identity 2.0 begin...
OpenID has gotten a lot of buzz this week with both Google and Microsoft announcing support of the protocol. In light of this, and in conjunction with the continuing swirl of activity around data portability (a pet topic of mine) initiatives I thought I'd take a minute to share a video from 08's Social Graph Foo Camp where Leslie Chicoine shares some insights from a a designer's (and user's) perspective on OpenID:
"OpenID will be successful when nobody knows what it is".... Exactly.
A response to Dan Hoy's "The Virtual Dependency of the Post-Avant..." by someone who wishes to remain anonymous:
"It is with great interest that I read the work of Mr Hoy, a true aesthete, and artisan of semiotic deconstruction. I have little to say other than outright praise of a piece that, in its sheer length, criticises the triskaidekaphobia of the modern web, but I might add a few minor addendums to the paradigm presented.
Firstly, while Google's existance as icon and action places it out of the realms of the mundane, and it is a truism that there is much of the spirit of the age about it - simply because, within its bounds lies a goodly portion of the sum of our written, visual and audio constructions of our experiences - the argument around sponteneity is one that has another aspect to it. Google is ultimately a tool bounded by our use of it; that that use is massively distributed, and open to rich interpretation, does not render irrelevent the fact that deliberate activity lies at its root. With that as a base, we find our tapestry is built on a basis of actions, that in turn lie rooted in the mimir of our needs; the necessary entropy for spontaneous generation cannot arise.
I might also take some time to consider as to whether the brand can be truly considered benign in its semantics; mostly harmless, perhaps, but that, as we have learned to our cost, can be no protection against reinterpretation. The similarities between Google and goggle are eerie, and perhaps apt; the notion of filtering perceptions of the world and its works, as well as wide-eyed awe, is one that might, in retrospect, have formed our subject's initial, faltering, steps more than any number of zeroes, or places in perdition. Perhaps, rather than focussing or the potential for aggression, we should move in-step with the people - them again - underlying the word, and watch their behavior, creating an aspirational element that endures, despite the passionate criticism that only those who once loved can generate.
Indeed, in this, the concluding point of the opening paragraph of this opus comes into a new light. Wikipedia, in its flawed and politically riven splendor, is very much part of the sorority of icons in our new, dichotimous and paradox-sticken age, and its association with Google apt to the point of irony. That these groups stand clear of the more prosaic companies that still bestride our shared experiences is a common consensus, but they are driven at heart by a vision, one formed by the individual(s), and, in that, novelty cannot disguise the inherent underlying order. The icons we stand before now are more personal than ever before, and they speak to us, but it is in the interpretation of their output that we create meaning.
There is far more in the deep woods of Mr. Hoy's essay than this commentator could possibly encapsulate; indeed, even this brief foray into the first paragraph is in dire danger of descending into diaspora. Suffice to say that it is a worthy read for any seeker of knowledge, and a worthy point of origin for much fascinating discourse."