It's even worse than it appears..
Saturday August 5, 2023; 9:04 AM EDT
  • This is about a service that is sold to end users and developers. The users pay for the service, and developers invest in it. Once it's up and running it will be the foundation for the web as an open platform for users and developers. #
  • My personal timeline#
    • Until recently I was using Twitter as my identity service. I knew there was some risk, but as long as one of the original founders was still involved, I felt it was pretty safe. #
    • Then with new ownership, I had to quickly pivot to create my own identity system, based on email. It took four months from beginning to end to transition Drummer and FeedLand. The rest of my products that used Twitter identity were left to break. I wrote about this effort in the roadmap doc for FeedLand. #
    • Every developer needs the same service. And it's a mess for users that there's a new identity system for every app. #
    • Users need storage. I have to provide them storage for their writing in Drummer, and in FeedLand for things like bookmarks, their personal feeds (ones they generate). Again, I have no interest in this. But I have to do it. And I am stuck paying for their files. They should be paying for them. #
    • And if my service should ever go off the air, they lose their data (I also provide ways for them to back up their data, but no surprise a lot of them don't do it). #
    • No surprise there's almost no developer community for the web in 2023. The hurdles are pretty close to insurmountable.#
  • Describe the service#
    • An identity service as a business. Operated by a strong company with longevity and a good track record for treating users and developers fairly. #
    • A standard OAuth interface for logging on. Can handle multiple identities per user, make it easy to switch from one to the other. Prior art, look at how Twitter or Bluesky do this.#
    • No per-app storage. Rather functional storage. A folder for PNG images, a folder for OPML outlines, or Markdown files, graphs, spreadsheets, or whatever. And make it easy to form projects with files of whatever type. So a user can have 15 programs that use OPML files and decide which get access to the OPML folder. #
    • Here's a key point -- such a system enforces the need for interop. Teaches users they have a right to demand it. When users know this, good things happen in markets. (Example: Podcasting has not gotten siloized because users know they have a right to choice in listening apps.)#
  • Competition?#
    • Dropbox got incredibly close to doing this, but punted.#
    • Amazon should do this but for some reason hasn't. They have end-user identity working (their shopping system) and they lead everyone in storage as a service. Connecting the dots seems to be incredibly easy for them, but they haven't done it. #

© copyright 1994-2023 Dave Winer.

Last update: Monday August 7, 2023; 7:48 PM EDT.

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