Killing Fleas with Bombs

Sixapart has announced Typekey, a verified identity service. I know that it’s easier to complain than create, but I feel obliged to point out that using an identification system to cure commenting ills is like using explosives to kill fleas.

Identity is one of the most important commodities on the internet. It takes time and hard work to establish who you are and what you represent. And once you establish your identity, it becomes a tool that can be used to promote ideas and issues that you support.

Identity is also one of the most powerful tools on the internet. Identity tokens are used to access email and buy goods online. And verified identity eliminates spam.

My concern about Typekey is that it is massive overkill to cure commenting. The cost of doing identity right far exceeds the value created by fixing weblog comments. I think that it only makes sense as part of a bigger picture and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.