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inames: Your Portable Identity

It looks as if the dream of a user controlled, portable identity is about to become a reality.  I’ve been swapping email with Kaliya Hamlin about identity standards.  She has pointed me to inames.net, a commons for identity.  Christine Herron has also recently written about this effort.

What’s an iname?  It’s a human friendly handle (mine is =alec.saunders) for a person or organization that you can use to organize all of your identity bits in one place – email addresses, phone numbers, IM handles and so on.  Like DNS, you simply pick a registrar, and select a name.  Services include single sign-on, contact, forwarding, and a unified address book.


{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Boris Mann July 3, 2006, 6:59 am

    How many =joe.smiths are there?

    I like URL-based identity schemes like OpenID or SXIP better. I don't think putting an equal sign in front of something necessarily makes it easy. It works today with Wordpress and many other systems — try http://www.myopenid.com, http://www.claimid.com, or install a plugin.

  • Alec July 3, 2006, 7:08 am

    inames is an application built on OpenID, Boris.

  • Vijay July 4, 2006, 12:48 am

    Pretty interesting. I am wondering how it will differentiate between similar names. But, its definitely a step in the right direction. Certainly seems like it.

  • Paul Jardine July 4, 2006, 3:23 am

    the 2idi.com site registering i-names is doing so at $20 a shot, I could get a domain name for a couple of years for that!
    myopenid is free, but I'm not really convinced it will be successful unless it gets accepted by something like Jabber, MySpace, or Skype or another big IM tool. Unlikely…

  • Richard Rodger July 4, 2006, 5:59 am

    Paul is right – the killer app is IM. Buddy lists are the next big thing. How you hook it all up is the problem that has to be solved and I don't yet see how inames will do it.

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