For anyone with a passing interest in the Biz game, y'aughtta know that my current feeling is that the user-controlled and people-friendly projection of secure and authenicated identity into the internet will herald the next generation of e-commerce and be the principle cause of our next economic boom. I didn't say it first, but it's the first time I've said it here. Maybe I'll elaborate on this in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, I'll explain why blogs are a good foundation for this. Again, this isn't a totally original idea. Doc Searls has a little ditty about it on his blog today, but I can tell you this sort of thing has been on my mind for quite a while.
Basically, it occurs to me that If you're willing to put your name on your blog and keep it real -- my original inspiration being Jusin's Links -- it could be the ultimate "I ain't scammin' you" proof. Using my blog as trust collateral first popped up when I wanted to buy something on eBay a while ago, and I realized that all these people had thousands of transactions and I had the goose egg zero and those suspicious-looking sunglasses. EBay lets you put up a little something about your self, so I stuck this up there. I like to think it helped me put prospective sellers at ease.
That was nice, but the real ah-ha! moment was when I started including my url in exploratory emails for freelance gigs off of craigslist or one of the innumerable job boards. This provides tremendous initial value for me as opposed to just some dude with an aol account: people can click my link and immediately see what I'm about and that I'm a real person, far more so than we'd be able to establish in an initial phone call. They also have a sense of what I'm about and so forth, lets them know if they want to deal with me or not.
Also, I used the term collateral specifically for a reason, that being having a personal blog gives me something to loose. Unlike a hotmail address or a monster.com login, this website gives me a non-disposable stake in the online world. Should someone decide to take the next step with me, this gives them peace of mind. If I put my blog on the table, you can bet I'm going to follow through. Sure I could chuck it all and start from scratch, but at this point I would be leaving behind over a year's worth of almost daily effort. It's not giving up my whole life, as if I decided to dissappear for real, move to Mexico or something, but it's far from insignificant. Someone who's thinking about entering into a virtual agreement with me knows how to recognize me online, where to find me in the future, and how to tell other people about me, three of the core tennants of identity, the underlying basis for any trust.
Of course, once real ID management (with legal backing) is here my outlandishjosh competitive advantage will be lessened if not eliminated, so you might ask why I'm still stoked about digital identity. Well, I want this sort of thing to become the norm because I think if it happens right it will open us up as a society and help integrate the world in more efficent and meaninfgul ways, and that's worth more to me than a competative advantage for freelance gigs. Besides, I probably loose some potential clients right off the bat because they're all freaked out to see me talking about using drugs and my sex life. Then again I don't really want to work with those people anyway. If things get tough and I need a temp job, I can just email them a word document with one of my other email addresses on it, but for now, I'm keeping it real to the fullest.