Breakfast of Championing

Had breakfast with Doc Searls this morning who is in town meeting with the Linux Journal folks. The Journal is based in the old sea-faring Scandinavian part of town, Ballard. Doc and I talked about his post-Cluetrain revelation that markets aren't just conversations, but relationships. Bargaining in a bazaar doesn't necessarily result in a cheaper price. (The New York Times Magazine followed a T-shirt from a charity donation in New York onto someone's back in Africa, neatly proving this argument last Sunday.)

Doc also passed along the memes of Andre Durand and his notions of identity. These notions are at odds with the centralized externalized Passport and Sun-alliance systems which require us to give our data (all our personal details are not belong to us?) to a repository. Rather, Durand and Doc argue, our identity is not a single thing: it's divided into stuff about us that is our core representation, and externally overlaid identities which are other people's ideas of who we are (driver's license, credit cards, etc.). All of this information should belong to us to allow us to automatically negotiate what details those involved in our transactions get from us, rather than stored monolithically out of our direct control.

I suggested we call this a server bazaar in which servers compete for our attention and our trade.