It's all about naming…

Danny Weitzner of W3C once told me that when he arrived there as Technology and Society Domain Leader, one of the technical staff gave him a tutorial about Web architecture and said, “It’s very simple, really — it’s all about naming.”

If I’d realized how profoundly true that was, I’m not sure I’d be here today, starting a blog about new identifier infrastructure for the Web. But since I didn’t know better, I’ve been doggedly pursing what is now the subject of two technical committees at OASIS: XRI (Extensible Resource Identifiers and XDI (XRI Data Interchange.

These two technical standards are the foundation of a new approach to Internet-scale persistent identity and trusted data sharing that’s been dubbed the Dataweb. The Dataweb in turn can be seen as providing a necessary – but not sufficient – foundation for The Social Web, which is very similar to today’s World Wide Web except instead of linking documents, the Social Web will link people, organizations, and concepts.

And for the Social Web to materialize, the Dataweb will need a trust fabric that mirrors the way trust works in the real world—one relationship at a time. That’s how I became a trustee of Identity Commons, the first trust federation using XRI/XDI technology.

Which explains why I haven’t had a free minute in the last twelve years (since my first son was born). And time to blog about it? Impossible! At least that’s what I thought until Doc Searls turned my head around at Digital ID World last October. He and Craig Burton convinced Kim Cameron, Owen Davis, and I that a blog was really necessary to work out a solution to a truly ubiquitous identity infrastructure that will finally produce what Kim calls “the Big Bang” of applications that are possible “on the other side of identity”.

I agreed with him so deeply I had no choice. So I made it my New Year’s resolution, and seeing that this is January 10, you see just how well I’m doing on my New Year’s resolutions ;-).

However much credit goes master maestro Marc Le Maitre, whom I work with at Cordance. He set up WordPress in literally minutes. Which meant all I needed to do to get started was…

…decide on a name for the damn thing. Which is a perfect lead-in to the next entry…as soon as I can get to it.


About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
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