Identity Vs Membership

Check out this interesting piece from ocean@concedere…

But everybody does understand the concept of a community, and belonging to a community, and they would understand that such a membership would grant certain privileges.

Membership is, I think, a far more interesting and useful concept than identity. It’s also one which is much less prone to abuse and much more unlikely to exhibit control. Rather than trying to cook up identity scheme after identity scheme people ought to focus on working with the many communities that already exist on the web to capture the value of these memberships.

I tend to agree with his take on the importance of associations as opposed to a standalone identity in human networks. The issue though is weather it is possible to have relevant and useful associations in an environment, like the Internet, where it is impossible, even for serious participants, to establish their identity.


One thought on “Identity Vs Membership

  1. “Membership is, I think, a far more interesting and useful concept than identity.”

    This comment may be a bit off subject, but I’ve tossed this sentence around in my head all day, and it really gets to the heart of what I think is the evolution of the web and it’s role in the evolution of us.

    Technology has made mankind realize just how small the world is, and people are just beginning to understand that they are members of a global community. Anyone who does even a small part to help conserve energy, recycle or make lifestyle changes for the benefit of the environment understands the concept of “global community”. But the majority of the human population does not buy into it. My theory is it is because the changes in one person’s lifestyle, no matter how significant to them, seem small and insignificant in the real world.

    The web is changing that. As the population becomes more connected to the web, both literally and figuratively, and the (open source) tools for adding value to the web evolve, the sense of community is resonating faster and stronger than it ever could in the physical world. People that become part of online communities know that they play a significant role in the growth and stability of that community. This “community revolution”, one that is maturing faster than anything we’ve seen before, is the catalyst that will give the majority of the population the mindset it needs to understand it’s role in the global community.

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