A Trust Web Might Help

phil ringnalda dot com: TypeKey from a different angle

Phil Ringnalda writes:

Now, I'm not so sure that's the right angle to take. If instead of seeing TypeKey as a slightly more tolerable (because you only have to lie about your email address once instead of many times) way to implement registration, you look at it as way to implement comment moderation, it begins to look a tad bit better.

He's right about this. TypeKey alone won't stop any problems. We need authorization controls, which are above authentication. TypeKey is only a first step.

I am investigating using Semantic Web technologies to help with the authorization problem. There's a concept of building a trust web that can likely help here.

  1. Use a authenitcation service (TypeKey or PGP signatures) to prove Seth is Seth.

  2. Give Seth a URI. A foaf:mbox_sha1 might be good here.

  3. Put blog comment triples into RSS feeds. The aggregators can pick these up and start to collect where Seth has posted, when, etc.

  4. Some concepts of trust begin to form. For instance, if Seth has posted to many blogs, and those posts are old (haven't been deleted), then they might not be content spam. Also, RSS feeds can include any moderation points given to posts. The white lists and black lists created by blog authors can also easily be captured inside the RSS.

What's nice about putting all that raw information into the RSS is the aggregators can make their own assumptions. Isn't this what the semantic web is all about? Don't like how one aggregator's algorithm for trust is working? Upload your own OWL file, or use a different aggregator. The important part is that "who to trust" is decided at runtime.

As Phil points out in a blog post to me, the above is not the hard part. The hard part is getting everyone to put these types of tripes into their RSS feeds. It's a chicken and egg problem. No one will put the tripes in until they see a killer app. But it's hard to write a good killer app without all the triples to prove it's killer.

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