Jon Udell on digital identity and Internet governance

One of my favorite technology bloggers, Jon Udell, mentioned Identity Commons in his blog today. But even he got a part of the picture wrong. I don't know how we're going to do it, but we've got to get our message clearer.

John quotes Owen Davis as saying that [global] i-names will be priced similarly to DNS names. My goal (and I believe Owen shares it) as founder of (the first i-broker) is to provide [community] i-names for free as soon as possible. While global i-names will continue to cost money, local or community i-names can and will (in most cases) be free. Basic hosting will be free, too, and the cost of services will tend towards zero. Furthermore, as the interesting things happen on the edges of the 'net, delegated community and sub-community i-names will be where all the action is.

So where is the business model when everything is free? To conjure an old joke: volume! We plan to provide a trustworthy and valuable service that, because of our open source business model, people are not locked into - rather, they choose to host their i-names with us. Once we are securely giving one, maybe two million people total control over their personal information, communities will form that have certain needs that we will be in an excellent position to service. And with that buying power, there will be marketers tripping over themselves to get access. Since our customers - and the communities that they make up - are in control, true permission-based marketing becomes possible. As we connect willing, qualified buyers with the products they are seeking, it should be easy for 2idi to skim (say) 1% off of the discounted purchase price, and everyone wins! (For more, see these musings.)

To Jon's final point, after working on privacy protected personal profile systems for 25 years now, what excites me about Identity Commons is the planned chaordic governance model that is of, by and for the members. Building secure, reputation-based identity and transaction systems requires either a larger-than-usual degree of personal knowledge and responsibility, or a flexible, federated, community governance system to fill in the holes. I'm betting on the latter.


What is the

What is the proposal?

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