How We Collaborate

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Facilitating broad community dialogue and increasing the diversity of perspectives in the emerging field of user-centric identity is a unique and critical role that Identity Commons currently plays. This role is becoming even more important as the community grows and as the vision of a decentralized, user-centric identity layer for the Internet comes closer to reality. Identity Commons must continue to create opportunities for both innovators and competitors, for both the big guy and the small fry to come together in a safe and balanced space.

Identity Commons can fulfill this role in a variety of ways. Continuing gatherings such as the Internet Identity Workshop. Doing such gatherings under the auspices of IC enables organizers to leverage common operational resources while focusing their energies on bringing the right people and content to these gatherings. IC can also play a supportive role for other ad hoc gatherings – both face-to-face and online – as well.

On the technical side, IC is a voice for multiple, interoperating – and possible competing – identity standards and reputation networks. IC encourages the development of systems that achieve zero customer lock-in, thus always providing users of identity systems the choice to move without the risk of losing the accumulated fruit of their labors/participation. Further, IC can assist efforts to create transparency in the operations of the identity systems and their associated services, so that users who are not as technically adept could feel secure in their actions.

We collaborate in several ways:

Working Group Collaboration

The actual work of Identity Commons happens within the Working Groups. Each group chooses its own methods and mediums for collaboration, provided they are consistent with our values outlined in our Purpose And Principles. Additionally, IC will also provide some shared infrastructure as a service to Working Groups who want it. This infrastructure includes the creation of Wikis and mailing lists.

There is a collaboration stage that is critical prior to the formation of Working Groups. We recognize the importance of this stage, but we also realize that there is a cost to providing infrastructure for interactions that may not result in an actual working group. As a result, we encourage those who are proposing the formation of a new working group to start by using this Wiki and the community mailing list for initial interactions.