July 17, 2009
I had a meeting yesterday talking about my favorite topic. Identity.
From the discussion of identity all sorts of issues swirl around in my brain, federation, interconnection and interoperability, the principles of end to end on the Internet and even IPv6.
My bell head really shows up when it comes to URIs. I just dont agree that I am going to be able to search for the person I want in this modern world without somehow using a phone number.
I am going to the doctor today, and in looking for his number on the web, I was struck by how many sites wanted to tell me about the doctor without actually getting me to him.
I don't want to look like an old man that says "when I want your opinion, I will give it to you", but please help me know that you and I are talking about the same doctor. Give me an identifier that helps me call if I want to.
While Search is alive and well directory is still a mess on the Internet and I am actively looking to improve it.
I believe that phone numbers are better than email in pushing out information in public. You give out an email and you worry about who is using it and how cheap it is to get to you. You give out a phone number and you know it will cost them to call you, so you trust it will be for a good purpose.
Plus you are used to being public about your phone number, or you paid extra for not being listed. Email's spam problem got so bad, people use social networks as their only email.
Mind you I am open networker so my perspective is skewed, but here is the best anecdotal evidence I have. My daughter wont let me see her on facebook, but she knows I need to have her phone number.
Clearly the dynamics are changing, but I think a phone number is the best identifier to share publicly.
Feedback for Thinking About the Digits