Is this Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

Trust, OpenID, VRM, Data Portability and how does it hang together?

with 3 comments

… or who am I, anyway? Do *you* trust me?

I’m a moderately keen Facebook user. I have a number of friends, and am in a few groups – although I avoid all zombie battles and the like.

I’m a member of a number of web forums, and a newsgroup user.

I also blog in a couple of places, Twitter, and use some other Web2.0/blogging tools. I use intermittently.

I don’t think any of my online contacts know all the places I am, and I have differing reputations/standing in all of them.

None of the DVD/bookshops I use know enough about me to target me precisely – except Amazon – and while they provided the infrastructure to learn about my *purchases*, I provided large amounts of rating information to them – and told them which of my purchases (for others) not to use for recommendations.

I became interested in VRM following some posts by JP, whose other posts on ownership of information have exercised me a bit.

I’d also heard about a bit about OpenID but thought that would be a bit taxing to understand for a neophyte like me – when I suddenly discovered that I could use this blog as an OpenID… it now makes commenting on other folks blogs a bit easier, and helped sort out my QDOS application [FWIW, I have a shamefully low QDOS of 1100].

Once again, JP in a series of tweets including here, here and here started discussing communal ownership of information and its relation to identity.

I can use my identity here to let me comment on folk’s blogs. I’m an unknown blogger, and so not trusted as an authority.

One of the forums I frequent, I’ve been a member since near inception; I posted a lot; I’ve accrued karma/reputation points; I know some of the moderators; I organised group buys (basically taking on the hassle of ordering scores of items worth hundreds/thousands of dollars for members). I’m *trusted* there.

Now, does my reputation there belong to me, or to the community who accorded me the reputation?

In fact, some of it does seem to belong to me, as I posted on another related forum (to do with bushcraft, if you must know) and I was challenged about something. Another poster (who I didn’t think I knew) said something like “Nah, he’s alright. I know him from x, and he’s been about for years and knows a lot about this.” He “knew” me because he recognised my nickname and location. He used differing nicknames, so I couldn’t have vouched for him. If I’d logged in with my OpenID, it would be more obvious.

I’d like to take my data with me and share it with whom I want. Is Data Portability the answer? Well, yes. For some of it, and seeing @jowyang’s post encourages me to believe there’ll be some movement.

And no, not unless we sort out which data is mine. The karma others gave me in a bushcraft group? My technorati rating (as if!). Even if it was mine, how we going to transfer that?

I’m going to watch the debate with interest – and learn more, I hope.


Written by SteveEllwood

January 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Yes, I think picking on JP’s posts was on the money. 🙂

    VRM is another way to address the data ownership and portability and the fact that there are more people having very similar conversations is an encouraging sign.

    You might want to have a look at this:

    Open ID is a great step forward but ultimately, I don’t want to be logging into someone else’s platform. Also, I don’t just want to be able to take my data from platform to platform/social network to social network – I want to apply various capabilities to my data directly when under my control. As I see it, there are only two platforms – the individual user and the web.

    Btw, can’t see where you are based but there are regular monthly VRM meetings in London ( in case you want to watch the debate offline too. 🙂


    February 16, 2008 at 12:55 am

  2. […] Now, if I can take my graph off that network… [hey, isn’t that beginnning to look like Data Portability – and aren’t Facebook saying they’lll play?] … can I use it somewhere else? Which bits of the data are mine is a different issue. […]

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