[uf-discuss] MicroID Revisited

Fred Stutzman fred at metalab.unc.edu
Fri Jun 30 17:07:43 PDT 2006


A few months ago, MicroID was briefly discussed on this list [1].  The 
discussion flashed out quickly, leaving a number of unanswered questions.

In the meantime, I've been using MicroID, and I've become increasingly 
convinced of the potential value of MicroID as a simple identity 
"microformat".  I put the term in quotes because, citing Jeremie Miller, 
MicroID is not a perfect prototypical microformat - never the less, I think 
the value proposition of MicroID is high enough to deserve discussion here.

I'd like to restart the discussion of MicroID, for a number of reasons. 
First, there are some questions raised in the first thread that can be 
answered (i.e. the value of a shared secret based on a communication 
identifier).  Second, I'd like to entertain new questions - and further the 
discussion of the worth of such an identity microformat.

There are a few resources I can point you to in order to restart the 
discussion.  The first is the MicroID webpage [2], and the second is the 
MicroID blog/FAQ [3].  I've written two posts that describe the 
implementation of a MicroID-based verification system that may also be 
useful [4],[5].

In order to start or restart this discussion under the process guidelines, 
here's my go at a problem statement answered by MicroID.  Currently, there 
doesn't exist a simple identity microformat that will allow users to make 
verifiable claims of ownership of semantic elements.  MicroID solves this 
problem by allowing semantic elements to be marked up with a simple 
identity microformat.  MicroID can be implemented by content providers, and 
tested by third-party verifiers.  Such a system, implemented properly so 
that the communication identifiers are verified, allows a individuals to 
make simple, trusted and highly scalable claims of ownership of web 


[2] http://microid.org
[3] http://microid.org/blog

Fred Stutzman
AIM: chimprawk

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