[OpenID] About Facebook, MySpace and OpenID

Andrew Arnott andrewarnott at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 20:56:01 UTC 2009

On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 1:42 PM, Martin Atkins <mart at degeneration.co.uk>wrote:

> The longer-term approach would be to make the email address itself be an
> identifier, with assertions made by the email provider, though there is
> still the debate about what exactly constitutes "validation" of an email
> address. (Most RPs want to know not just that the person signing in owns the
> email address but that the email address is able to receive mail.)

Slight diversion: no web site ever wants to know my email address so they
can receive email from me.  They only want to send me mail.  In other words,
they only want one-way communication.  Their communication almost always
comes from no-reply at company.foo email addresses.  You're expected to use
their web interface to communicate with them, because of course they don't
want you to have their email address, lest they get spam.  Ironic, isn't it?

What I'm getting at is since the email validation problem hasn't been solved
yet, and since email, a two-way communication system, isn't exactly a good
fit for the mode most RPs want to use, why not find an alternative?

Specifically what I'm thinking about is a kind of personal "push" RSS feed.
 An RSS feed that instead of a user adding items to it that everyone can
read, it's a feed that everyone can write to, that only the user can read.
 Basically like inbound-only email.  But it could be built on a system that
supports validation, particularly enabling validating some kind of
association with an OpenID.  For instance, and OpenID's XRDS document might
advertise a service URI that accepts messages, which will in some way sends
messages to the user.  The RP will discover this automatically and all is
well.  If the RP cares to send the user a test message using it, the user
checks his feed (however that happens--OPs can provide this service or let
the user delegate to another site or even their email inbox), enters the
code into the RP, and away he goes.
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