Johannes points to this blog post by Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee talks about the potential surrounding OpenID and FOAF in building a trust infrastructure for the web. Such infrastructure could be used to stop spam, generalize access control, or any number of things that we won’t think of till the foundation exists. A snippet:
People have, since it started, complained about the fact that there is junk on the web. And as a universal medium, of course, it is important that the web itself doesn’t try to decide what is publishable. The way quality works on the web is through links.
It works because reputable writers make links to things they consider reputable sources. So readers, when they find something distasteful or unreliable, don’t just hit the back button once, they hit it twice. They remember not to follow links again through the page which took them there. One’s chosen starting page, and a nurtured set of bookmarks, are the entrance points, then, to a selected subweb of information which one is generally inclined to trust and find valuable.
A great example of course is the blogging world. Blogs provide a gently evolving network of pointers of interest. As do FOAF files. I’ve always thought that FOAF could be extended to provide a trust infrastructure for (e..g.) spam filtering and OpenID-style single sign-on and its good to see things happening in that space.
Statements like that get me all excited, especially as I’m passionately developing something that lives in grassroots reputation land. I’ll share more as we get closer to IIW.
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