Blog URI, is it necessary?

Brad Fitzpatrick brad at
Fri May 20 09:46:21 PDT 2005

Your identity server is vouching for an identity.  You can have two dozen
identities if you want, each with their own identity server.

Your URL is your identity.  If you don't want to reveal that you're, by all means DON'T ENTER THAT ONE IN when
you visit and leave a comment.

There's nothing "blog" specific about this, except a lot of people will
use it for that, so I use that word to make people understand.

- Brad

On Fri, 20 May 2005, Ben Hyde wrote:

> Interesting work going on here!
> I don't pretend to understand the design entirely at this point.  You
> can tell I don't because the blog posting[1] I wrote last night suffers
> from a bit of deep confusion.
> I skimmed the "how it works" page and over generalized.  The how it
> works page shows the user being prompted for the the URL of his blog.
> I projected my own assumptions of how to do this and assumed that the
> user was being prompted for the URL of what I call a "vouching server"
> in the posting.
> Why is it better to ask the user to reveal his blog's URL?   When he
> reveals that he is revealing quite a lot of information about himself.
> If you ask him instead to reveal only the name of a site that can
> vouch/introduce/ID him then you minimize how much he is forced to
> reveal himself to the site he's visiting.
> In my naiveté it appears that this change is very low impact.
> In my confused blog posting I suggest there are these players in the
> senario.
>    - the anonymous visitor
>    - the suspicious site (which would like to get a better handle on
> this anonymous visitor)
>    - the vouching site (which is willing to help the anon-visitor and
> the suspicious-site work thru this problem)
> Call these Alice, Steve, and Victor respectively.
> If Alice enter's (a blogging mega-site) rather
> than (her blog of embarrassing
> poetry) it appears that the Steve can still work with Victor and Alice
> to get the tiny minimal bit of handle that Steve needs to feel more
> comfortable about Alice.
> So, my question:  Is it really necessary to insist that Alice reveal to
> Steve her blog?  Isn't it sufficent and better to just ask Alice to
> suggest a Victor who can vouch for her?   What would this change break?
>    - ben
> [1]
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