MicroID – Identity in a shade of microformat

Doc points to microformat-compliant MicroID (“Small Decentralized Verifiable Identity”) by Jabber founder Jeremie Miller:

…a new Identity layer to the web and Microformats that allows anyone to simply claim verifiable ownership over their own pages and content hosted anywhere. The technology is radically simple and capable of empowering new and unique meta services with only minor effort.

I read over the description, but I still don’t quite get it.

A simpler solution (for web authors at least) is reciprocity using XFN. Essentially if I have access to two websites, I can link between them using the rel="me" microformat — very similar to what Technorati does with its claiming snippet.

So one rel="me" link implies an unconfirmed relationship, two or more confirms, for the purpose of building an exploratory network (non-authoritative), a relationship. Add in an

and you can start building an ad hoc profile that will result with a profile like the one I’m building on ClaimID.

So the way I see it, MicroID allows me to lay ownership to any piece of arbitrary content on the web, provided I can set the class of the object. In cases where that’s not possible, I’m not sure MicroID will work.

With the rel="me" solution, you can claim URLs that you can create links with rel values. Neither is perfect but both are decent uses of microformats for faking identity.

Update: change MicroID from a “.com” to a “.org” . Thanks Kevin!

The imminent rise of Microformats

Bill Gates on Microformats

It really is only a matter of time before this stuff really takes off. With Bill on the bully pulpit yakkin‘ with TimO about it, dropping references it during the Mix ’06 keynote, Ray Ozzie pimping them at ETECH, LinkedIn coming to the party, folks misrepresenting core ideas already… I mean sweet! I smell a movement on the march.

Update: Kevin “Quicktime” Marks has the transcript and more formats.

Flocktails for Flock

Flocktails + Flickr

Calvin Yu has ported his Tails extension to work in Flock as a topbar. The extension, called Flocktails, reveals a micformats icon in the bottom right of the status bar to indicate the presence of , , and entries. This is the extension that I demoed at SXSW last week.

Take it for a spin and send bug reports to Calvin!

Gates 14:00, “We need microformats”

Bill Gates and microformats

Ok, so that’s not exactly how it went down, but Tantek was there and heard it from Capt Bill himself.

If you happen to tune into the Mix ’06 keynote, at around the 14 minute mark, Bill does indeed refer to something that, gee, goes by “microformat” in more savvy circles. And then later on, said:

We need microformats and to get people to agree on them. It is going to bootstrap exchanging data on the Web…

…we need them for things like contact cards, events, directions…

So if you’ve been playing along at home, welcome to the future kids. Microsoft is waking up, is back in the game and ready to deliver some serious innovation. Can open source continue its onslaught against the once great software juggernaut or will it continue to stutter in areas like user experience, graphics technology and hell, its exclusive, elite, Eurogeekwhitetrash bourgeoisie culture that keeps girls (and other minorities) out? (And yes, the speaker acknowledges his privilege as an educated white male.)

One thing is for sure — it’s shaping up to be a very interesting time in the browser space after all.

The microformats-API assembly lines

Microformats x API Assembly Line - Photo: National Archives and Records Administration Still Picture Branch, College Park, Maryland

I was trying to put this point in history into some context and it dawned on me that Ford’s , which had a great influence on production and essentially precipitated the industrial revolution, is somewhat of a precursor to what we have today with open APIs and the potential proliferation of microformats.

Except that, with this combination of remixable and repurposeable data, the whole web community stands to benefit. The interesting issue — is that we must build tools that can interact with and leverage this technological coupling. Ford was no dummy: he sold cars to the people who made them, and put the cost at a level that his employees could afford.

Now if we could spread tools that can make use of microformats as well as produce them invisibly to the end users, this whole assembly line thing might actually take off. Yeh, just mebbe.

The jaywalking podcast (GlitchNYC)

Jaywalking podcast - photo by Miss RogueBarcamps NYC and Austin veteran Eric Skiff captured a pretty decent interview with me touching on Flock and microformats while we made our our way back to SXSW from the Spaghetti warehouse yesterday. Give it a listen and then subscribe to GlitchCast. Good stuff — and really good audio quality given the circumstances!