While here, I've had a chance to learn about the Identity Commons, a move to create a third party identity service. Identity Commons is committed to individual ownership of identity information and relationships. They manage something called i-names, unique names that you can sign up for and keep for 50 years (one-time fee). I signed up for one this morning. I'm =windley. The equal sign is used before an i-name to identity it as an i-name. So far, about the only thing you can do with an i-name is to create a contact page. Here's mine. Eventually, the i-name will tie to all kinds of forms of contacting a person.
I-names are based on the XRI specification. XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier) is a "new URI-compatible scheme and resolution protocol for abstract identifiers÷identifiers that are location-, application-, and transport-independent, and thus can be shared across any number of domains and directories. The XRI 1.0 specifications were published in January 2004 by the OASIS XRI Technical Committee."
I've got no idea if this will ever go anywhere, but I think interesting and support it $25 worth.