Sunday, January 01, 2006

Bloggers Wishlist for 2006 (or, "Identity Theft in the Blogosphere")

[Update, Jan 2: Tony emailed to say he's included my comment as part of his post (thanks!) Adds that one of his wishlist is also for biz bloggers to make sure they write an 'About' page.]

Toby Bloomberg (Diva Marketing Blog) posted a wish list from some bloggers on what they’d like to see in 2006 on blogs (via Scoble).

Seems that most of the wishlist has less to do with the technical side of blogging, and more on the quality of writing in the Blogosphere. To me, that's a sign that blogging is evolved beyond its "Hey-check-out-this-cool-Technology" phase and into something more entrenched. Kind of like e-mail.

Left a comment in Toby's blog on what would be on my wishlist, which turned out to be technical-related (though it can be argued that it has to do with social development as well):
I don't think my wishlist will materialise by 2006 but here goes: I wish for a more robust Web Identification system in the Blogosphere. It scares me that it's so easy to pretend to me be someone else, e.g. posting a comment.

There are services like Typekey but what if someone grabs my desired user ID first? In fact, I discovered that my "ramblinglibrarian" ID has been taken up in Typekey -- now I can't remember if it's me who signed up for it, or someone else (any advice?).

Ok, is "Blog Identity Theft" really a problem? I think so. In the online environment, we have nothing else to back us up other than our credibility and reputation. Which is linked to our Blog ID/ name/ site.

I don't think I'm important enough to have someone pretend to be "ramblinglibrarian" and leave nasty comments all over the Blogosphere. But who's to say it won't happen? And what if it's not a nasty comment but a plain stupid uneducated comment? Something that doesn't really warrant a rebuttal but leaves an impression that "this fella's stupid; I'll ignore".

Can't think of any 100% full-proof solution to prevent "Blog Identity Theft". For each idea, I can think of at least one possible loop-hole.

Maybe if we can't prevent it, we can at least think of ways to monitor it. Perhaps services like Technorati could develop a way for people to track comments, like how they can track keywords in blog posts.

For now, all I can do is just accept that I have no control over this problem, and be prepared to deal with it as it comes.


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