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Showing posts from December, 2006

Why AOL Should Go OpenID

I've argued beforethat identity is a building block -- an essential amino acid, if youwill -- for social networks.  It's far from the only thing you need,but without stable, persistent, verifiable identity, it's very hard tobuild relationships.  It's so important that there are specialized subnets in the human brain that recognize voices and human faces to help you remember people.

The digital world doesn't work like that.  Identifying someone onlineis hard.  Even solving the more limited problem of verifying that this person is the sameperson who you were socializing with yesterday online is not trivial. All social software has some mechanism for letting people verify someonline identity -- usually a user name and password.  Of course thatjust means that you have different user names for different services. In the new "Web 2.0" world, though, a primary rule is for services to be open and interoperate and play together. That's difficult if people have …

Atom API for AOL Journals

Journals exposes a very complete API for creating and managing blogs, entries, and comments.  I'm working on getting the API documentation up on sometime soon.  But it's very easy to get started with basic blog posts.  Here's an example using curl, that would post to this blog, if my password were MYPASSWORD:

curl -k -sS --include --location-trusted --request POST --url '' --data @entry.xml --header 'Content-Type: application/atom+xml; charset=utf-8' --user panzerjohn:MYPASSWORD

where entry.xml is the Atom entry to be created, like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<entry xmlns="" xmlns:aj="">
<title>Blog entry title</title>
<content type="html">
   Hello World!
</entry>On success, you&…

At IIW2006b

I'm at the Internet Identity Workshop (part B), listening to a bunch of smart people like Dick Hardt, Johannes Ernst, Kim Cameron, and of course Kaliya.  Looking forward to hearing a lot of exciting developments.  Already people are announcing open source libraries supporting OpenID.

Dec 5, 11:45am: There's a good article just put up at ZDNet: "The case for Openid" It's been Slashdotted already.  At IIW, I've been sitting in on the basic OpenID discussions, finding out what's new with 2.0, and listening in on the user experience/microformats discussion.  The latter is potentially interesting; at least there are specific short-term obvious next steps, like supporting XFN, that would help enable potential applications down the road.  This is a very difficult thing to sell to business people, though.  Maybe there's a session on that -- evangelizing to the business?