Andre Durand and Phil Becker, who run DIDW, are both online community guys from way back. They immediately got what K5 is all about, and realized that they could just submit articles like anyone else. But, having both been where we are, working to make a great community self-supporting, they also realized that they were in a position to help out K5, instead of just taking advantage of the resource for free.
They talked to me, and I talked to you, and what we eventually came up with is this, the Focus topic on Digital Identity. They're kicking in some money, and in return we're creating a mini-section specifically geared toward issues of Digital Identity. I'm not going to go into a lot of depth on what that is here, since the first article should provide a good overview. The summary is that Digital Identity is the intersection of software and protocols geared toward establishing and controlling your "identity" in electronic environments. Trust metrics, authentication, crypto, and privacy issues, and much more are all wrapped up in this. In a world that is increasingly connected by electronic networks, how you are able to represent yourself, and how you control that representation, will become ever more important.
The way the Focus topic works is pretty simple. Articles are just like all other articles; they are submitted for voting, and voted on by everyone. DigitalIDWorld will submit articles periodically that they think you might find interesting. Anyone who has something to say on the topic is also welcome and encouraged to submit articles. Like every other article, vote them up if they're good, vote them down if they're not. There are no special conditions or restrictions on Digital Identity focus articles -- they go where you vote them.
There will be a small box on the left side of the index pages, with links to the Focus section index, and the most recent couple of stories. If you find you aren't interested in the subject, feel free to turn the box off in your Display Preferences. We're paid in advance, just to create the section and open it up, so we all (myself, and especially Andre and Phil) urge you to vote without prejudice on article submissions, either for or against. This will work if you keep to the high standards you've already established for the site, and I'm counting on you to do so.
A little about DigitalIDWorld: DIDW is a brand new site, launched with the intention of becoming a "hub" for the digial identity market. They intend to hold a conference later this year to get as many of the groups with an interest in the digital identity space together as possible. Full disclosure: Andre Durand, a backer of DigitalIDWorld, is also founder of a company called PingID, which develops digital identity infrastructure products. This probably explains some of his interest in the field, but DIDW does not advocate any particular product or service. They don't want to market a product to you, they do want your honest responses to the issues and technologies of digital identity.
Every month, I'll post a Site News article with a poll asking if we should keep the Focus idea, or not, and if we should stick with the current topic or not. We can stick with a topic as long as you're interested in it. I would like to see the topic change every few months or so, and hopefully we can find some other sponsors with interesting focus topic ideas. As always, any proposal for a new topic will be put to you first.
This is a new thing, and none of us knows how it's going to go. I really appreciate your willingness to give it a shot, and I think that if we keep on doing that thing we do, it'll be a good thing for everyone involved. If it turns out not to be, well, we tried. So welcome again to K5's first ever Focus Topic: Digital Identity.