08 September 2006

O Brave New Web

... That hath such creatures in it.

Your friends and associates: Collect 'em! Trade 'em! I'll give you eight bucks for a mint Babe Ruth rookie card, or six for a Larry Ellison business card!

Jigsaw has been slashdotted today via a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Have I mentioned The Absurdity of "Owning One's Identity"?

Jigsaw's claim that user activity will keep information up to date in their system isn't particularly convincing to me, by the way: I used their "Find out if you are in Jigsaw" feature to discover that information for "blakley@us.ibm.com" IS in their database. I'd like to meet him. I bet we'd have a lot to talk about.

Jim Fowler, Jigsaw's CEO, says he's thought deeply about the moral issues Jigsaw raises, and that everything's OK. To investigate that claim, try the following thought experiment:

Meditate on Jigsaw. Breathe deeply. Let your feelings flow.

Meditate on LinkedIn. Breathe deeply. Let your feelings flow.

Explain your feelings.

Want a hint? LinkedIn is different from Jigsaw - it requires you to accept an introduction before it dishes the dirt on you. That's a tiny step in the right direction, but I'd rather have a Meta-Identity System than either of these Web 2.0 Identity Systems. It would be easy to do this for business contact information.

Here's you visiting a Business Contact Identity Oracle:

You: "Do you know Bob Blakley?"

Oracle: "Yeah, I know him".

You: "Great! Give me his email address."

Oracle: "Pound sand, loser."

You: silence while thinking for a minute.

You: "OK, if I give you MY email address, and a message, will you send it to him?"

Oracle: "Gladly."

Now wasn't that easy?


Blogger Ralf Bendrath said...

How weird - they even discriminate against non-dotcommers. This is what jigsaw returned when I tried to find out if they have info on me (I replaced the real address here):

"Sorry, the e-mail you entered [my-email@mydomain.de] is not allowed in Jigsaw. Jigsaw does not allow email addresses with .de domain extension. To enforce this policy no member can add a contact with an e-mail address at .de. Any contact added to Jigsaw must have an e-mail domain that can be directly associated with a company that has a website."

I work at a German university that of course has a website. So what?

September 09, 2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger PHB said...


The idea is right but you need to have a thinner pipe. Relaying a message is essentially no different from sending an email.

What you need to do here is to restrict the forwarding ability to a request for a contact.

So maybe the contact request message would be restricted to name, email address, 150 characters text.

That still allows the possibility of spam and you would want the contact request message to be authenticated and you would want to filter them in some way.

I would also suggest that you want to think about multiple communication media and have different access criteria for each. My acces controls for IM are going to be tighter than for voice which in turn are tighter than voicemail, email and last of all contact requests.

Maybe I will blog this later.

September 15, 2006 11:38 AM  

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