Unified Identity Design

March 17, 2008

My online identity is highly fragmented. Some parts are public, others are restricted to specific groups. Part of my identity is presence. That is, the way people can find out what I’m doing, and contact me. Here is a taxonomy of some different aspects of my Online Identity:

The idea of Unified Messaging is a vertical solution in that it attempts to aggregate the methods of contact for one person, but it usually does so via proprietary solutions for each category. That is, there is a provided method for events (that is, calendar), personal information, text messaging, and voice.

What I want is a way to take all of my existing solutions, and create an intermediate format, which can be used to update all the rest. And then I want mobile access.

I plan on integrating some of this into Gargoyle. The method of implementation will most likely be FOAF, though I’m as yet unsure about how I want to store my events. Events right now are probably the best category, since facebook publishes an iCal feed of my events, which I have imported as a dynamic calendar into my Google Calendar. The Google Calendar, in turn, sends me event notifications to my cell, via SMS.

My initial task is to be available via whatever way is most convenient, no matter what the original mode of contact was, with SMS being the common-denominator. This can be most easily achieved by putting gatekeeper bots at each incoming mode of communication. So, there will be an AIM bot, that when set to “on” would forward all incoming AIM messages to an appropriate alternative location. Perhaps an even easier way would be to use existing methods: run my own Jabber server, with transports for all the various protocols. Jabber is also the easiest method for which to write bots in python.

These are some preliminary ideas that I’m filing publically. More to come soon.

Unified Identity Design - March 17, 2008 - Michael Katsevman