TAG: Identity

Own Your Identity, the Blog

For those interested in online identity-related matters, I would like to turn your attention to a new blog on the subject: Own Your Identity I’m writing this blog along with web-maven Brian Oberkirch and polar explorer turned web revolutionary Tony Haile. We’re just getting started, but our goal is to lead a discussion on the […]

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The danger of social markers made public (more on the Social Graph API)

Thomas Vander Wal makes a good point in response to my post: Why I’m excited about Google’s Social Graph API. He’s concerned that by exposing social relationship information (social graphs), we’re inviting hackers to mine that information and use it in bad ways:

“I do have great trepidation as this is exactly the tool social engineering hackers have been hoping for and working toward.

Most hacks of organizations (most are populated with 98% of people not like us that are more open to social engineering hacks) that have been hacked (been through more than a few of these meetings after the fact) are done through some clever individual using social engineering to convince somebody to trust the hacker. The identification of connections (usually best approached with weak ties) is a great starting point (this is the major reason why most organizations no longer have their employee list or full-contact list posted on their websites).

The Google SocialGraph API is exposing everybody who has not thought through their privacy or exposing of their connections.

This is an excellent point that needs to be considered.

An example of what Thomas describes might be…

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Google’s Social Design Best Practices

Tucked away as part of the new Open Social initiative launched last week, Google engineers offered an interesting best practices document of social design dos and don’ts.

Social Design Best Practices

The list of best practices are as follows:

  1. Engage Quickly – (my interpretation: provide value within 30 seconds)
  2. Mimic Look and Feel – (make your widget look like the page it is in)
  3. Enable Self Expression – (let people personalize their widgets)
  4. Make it Dynamic – (keep showing new stuff)
  5. Expose Friend Activity – (show what friends are doing)
  6. Browse the Graph – (let people explore their friends and friends of friends)
  7. Drive Communication – (provide commenting features)
  8. Build Communities – (expose different axes of similarity)
  9. Solve Real World Tasks – (leverage people’s social connections to solve real problems)

This list is interesting for several reasons…

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Facebook and Circles of Relationships

David Kirkpatrick’s has written a great piece on the new direction Facebook is going. His lead in says it all:

“Imagine that when you shopped online for a digital camera, you could see whether anyone you knew already owned it and ask them what they thought. Imagine that when you searched for a concert ticket you could learn if friends were headed to the same show. Or that you knew which sites – or what news stories – people you trust found useful and which they disliked. Or maybe you could find out where all your friends and relatives are, right now (at least those who want to be found).”

Notice how each one of the examples relates the person with what they’re trying to find out by way of Trust. In other words, information is important to people not just because of what it is, but because of what it means to the person and their future. Knowing what concerts are playing is nice…but knowing which one your friends are going to is what’s important.

Schneiderman’s Circles of Relationships

Ben Schneiderman came up with a nice graphic to illustrate this. He calls it the circles of relationships. It shows several concentric ovals (centering on the self) that illustrate how Trust dissipates outward. As we move away from people near to us, we trust them less.

Ben Schneiderman's Circles of Relationships

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The hidden lives of MySpacers

Why opinions from anybody but users rarely matter.

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Domain as Identity Getting Closer to Real

Brian Oberkirch has a nice post about how we need OpenID to corral the proliferation of identity information out there on the Web.

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Designing Relationships

Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Doc Searls, in the must-read Building an Relationship Economy:

‘”All markets work at three levels”, he said. “Transactions, conversations and relationships”. Eric is an atheist. Sayo is a Christian. With those two triangulating so similarly on the same subject, I began to figure there was something more to this relationship business.’

Doc starts this excellent piece by wondering what we can learn about economy from open-source practices. A lot, it seems. When we look at something like the incredible creation of Linux, what does that tell us about what we value and why and how we get stuff done?

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Review of 2006 Predictions

Last year I made several predictions about trends to watch in 2006 (Part I, Part II, and Part III) In an interest of accountability, I thought I would quickly recap them and see how I did. (too many folks making predictions never go back to see how they did…we really have no idea who to […]

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On the Record, by Default

Bruce Schneier, in his piece: Casual Conversation, R.I.P, suggests that, as a result of the recorded nature of online interactions, the very foundation of casual conversation is beginning to change:

“Everyday conversation used to be ephemeral. Whether face-to-face or by phone, we could be reasonably sure that what we said disappeared as soon as we said it. Of course, organized crime bosses worried about phone taps and room bugs, but that was the exception. Privacy was the default assumption.”

Indeed, we do take that privacy for granted. What we said behind someone’s back wouldn’t reach them unless the person we confided in told them directly. There was nobody taking notes, nobody recording this conversation on the record. What we said was contained securely in the moment: no future action could recreate it.

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A Messaging Proxy and Domain as Identity

A pretty good idea

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