There's a user in there somewhere

This piece by Robert Young (on Om Malik's blog) caught my eye this morning. The blog entry outlines why social networks are the "new media," but it does so by highlighting the importance of digital identities.

This piece by Robert Young (on Om Malik's blog) caught my eye this morning. The blog entry outlines why social networks are the "new media," but it does so by highlighting the importance of digital identities.

My interest in this should come as no surprise, especially in light of my recent blogging about Why Web 2.0 needs Identity. In fact, Robert points to the crux of my interest when he talks about how a "parallel universe" of digital identities is being created -- one whose strategic implications will reshape media as we know it.

Dick Hardt (CEO of Sxip Identity) summarized it all very nicely during a phone call I had with him last week, when he said half-jokingly, "there's a user involved in there somewhere" - meaning that no matter what "Web 2.0" application or "second life" universe we create, the core of it all is still the user. The problem, of course, is that as we're creating all of these new applications, the technology world at large is (for the most part) ignoring the critical problem of digital identity.

Which brings me back around to the point I've started to harp on: the Web 2.0, social media world should not keep viewing identity as something they'll deal with later. Rather, they should begin paying serious attention to all of the hard work that's being done by groups like the Identity Gang.

Solving the core problem of identity will not only allow the Web 2.0 world to stop living in an Identity 1.0 data store -- it will also unleash even greater user possibilities and potential.

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