There is a nice story in today’s Christian Science Monitor about online identity management (which quotes me, but is good anyway). The author, Christian Lupsa, surveys three services with very different areas of focus — underscoring in the process how malleable and undefined the notion of “identity management” remains:
- ClaimId allows users to tag online information about themselves, both authenticating it and potentially adding some context to explain it (or explain it away).
- Naymz also allows users to claim information about themselves, but more with the goal of promoting themselves. The service also seesk to optimize a user’s collected and approved content in search engine results.
- Finally, ReputationDefender — about which Tim commented trenchantly in this space earlier this month — searches out online information about you (no big deal for anyone mildly skilled at Googling) — and, more importantly, helps eliminate the bad stuff (for a fee). It’s not fully clear how they do this, but mostly they probably request that the host of the content remove it; such requests are often honored.
None of these disparate initiatives is the same sort of “identity management,” similar to a portable sign-in or pseudonym, that has been the focus of efforts like the Higgins Project or Microsoft’s Infocard.
All in all, the whole concept of online “identity” appears to be fragmenting more with time, not less. However you think about it, though, the wide range of activity in this space is only just beginning.