It's even worse than it appears..
Wednesday June 8, 2022; 10:42 AM EDT
  • I use the term identity in docs and when writing about technology. #
  • But what does it mean? #
  • An identity is a virtual person that belongs to you. You can have lots of them. For example I am davewiner on Twitter, or dave.winer.12 on Facebook, or scripting on GitHub, which means I can create stuff under those names, in a way that (hopefully) only the real Dave Winer can edit.#
  • It's possible to use your identity from one system on others. When I say "Drummer uses Twitter for identity," I'm just saying that rather than invent a new name here, we're happy to use the name you're known by on Twitter. It's like using a passport from another country as your (different) country's passport.#
  • Because "Drummer uses Twitter for identity," even if you don't use Twitter, you can quickly create an identity there, it takes about a minute to create an account, and then use that name here. Even if for some reason you don't want to create an identity on Twitter, if you have a Mac you can use the desktop version. No identity required because your work is stored on your computer not mine. #
  • I could write and maintain my own identity server. If I did that, that's basically all I would do. Think of all the fancy things Twitter does to support hundreds of millions of users. Think of what you expect of them. If somehow you get locked out of your account, you have to connect with a human somehow to get it back. They have it set up, skillfully, so you get a very small amount of human time, because otherwise the economics don't work. If I ran the identity system I use, I wouldn't be as efficient as they are and it's a thankless job, and I don't want it.#
  • Also, it's futuristic to use the same identity system as other developers. The more people use it, the better prepared we will be if there's a problem in the future with continuing to use Twitter. By using an external identity system I am inviting other developers to join me, so we can pool our efforts when we need to. Otherwise there's no hope that a common system could develop. It has been tried. But evolving this way is the only way imho that has a chance of working. #
  • So when I say "Drummer uses Twitter for identity," that means you log in to Twitter, they tell us what your name is, and then we know where to store your stuff so that only you can edit it. It really is a nice thing that Twitter does, and for now at least I can't imagine they have an ulterior motive, and if they ever do we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there. But we couldn't get there at all without using some kind of bridge here. #
  • If you have a comment or question post a note here. #

Last update: Wednesday June 8, 2022; 10:26 PM EDT.

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