First, my apologies to everyone who commented on Fixing the Google Account Problem. For some reason WordPress stopped notifying me about comment approval (I’m using Akismet but I still find the majority of comments that get through it are spam, so I moderate comments). So I just logged in and found a bunch of great comments, including several that I replied to.
Three clear themes emerge from these:
- The problem is even worse if Google Apps is involved. Apparently there isn’t a solution to merging a Google account and a Google Apps account yet (which frightens me because I’m about to need to set up my first Google Apps account).
- Using email addresses as primary account identifiers is problematic, period.
- Internet identity managment, especially at scale, is hard. A lot harder than it looks.
I’m told the good folks at Google have been discussing this. Please feel free to add more suggestions about exactly what you think they should do.
To add further to the complexity and mystery, if you run more than one Google Apps domain it also creates challenges in terms of your browser knowing which one you are logging into, there is no context around the browse even though the URL’s are different it seems the page is the determining factor in the browser trying to help you complete it or take the right action
Context as we all know is king, we need to be able to express the context of a browse, page in some way, this should be derived from the identifier for the page, and who I am and offer me the context that is relevant. Google has started to do this when you choose to go to Google sites, it says in which context do you want to access sites, for me that currently is four different options, but it will increase over time based on my business and social interests and activities.
I guess what I am searching for is a consistent approach across the net to context, so regardless which bit of the functionality I am using from Google or anyone else on-line the context is a central component of experience. Some people call this persona, but I think it goes beyond persona to the context within that persona
Ultimately I want to manage my life, its meta data and the context of it easily and seamlessly, there are lot a initiatives underway to define standards and create services but bringing this together is going to be challenging, XDI is going to help, so are i-names, i-numbers, Mydex personal data stores and other components but it will require a desire for integration at the heart of what we do to make it work. If this integration is achieved on a person / entity centric basis i will be delighted
Keep it coming