Small steps for identity

I recently updated my About page with a list of links to each of my online identities at places like Flickr, del.icio.us, LinkedIn, and others. It’s a first-crack effort at being transparent about my online identity at various locations.

As I wrote this past January, identity online is an emerging issue, though it hasn’t quite made the breakthrough I predicted it would this year. A variety of incrimental steps are being taken, with the most recent example I’ve noticed being edgeio’s user profile, which asks you to enter your usernames at other popular online destinations like Flickr. Since edgeio is a classifieds marketplace, the obvious motive behind their clever move in this direction is to create more accountability for their sellers in an open (read: non-eBay) way.

Other work in the space is being done by OpenID as well as RapLeaf. For now though, it’s up to the decentralized masses to come up with their own self-policing and self-publicizing methods of sharing and verifying identity.