Disclaimer: Check the date! This post was written way back in 2008. If there are technical things in here, they may be outdated, or there may be better ways to do them by now. You've been warned.
A few days ago I commented on this post over at Publishing 2.0, ignoring the semantic debate of whether the article described intermediation or disintermediation, I came up with an idea that I personally find very interesting. I touched on this idea on Tuesday’s post when I said:
How about blog and forum comments, it would be great to have an authenticated and decentralized means of establishing me on a site that is not my own. It would be even better if I could then aggregate these comments into my own site to track my current conversations in the blogosphere.
In that article I relied on Google to crawl the site and provide the aggregation for me, what if we looked at it more like my Publishing 2.0 comment and provided a reverse trackback ping.
In order for this to really work, we need a few things, one, we need a service that accepts the ping; Wordpress accepts trackback pings, so let’s assume this is easy to implement. Since most blog comment systems accept a blog URL, we know the author’s URL, append to that a well known URI to accept the ping and we now have an endpoint. So far, so good. Next, we need identity, in order for this to work people cannot be able to spam the system, we need a pretty solid concept of identity. To borrow from MicroID, URL + email = identity, since most (if not all) blog comments accept email and don’t show it, we can create a MicroID hash and add it to the comment’s container element as a class according to the Microformat class pattern. Finally, once the comment is approved and posted, the blog pings the commenter’s blog with the generated MicroID and the post URL, the commenter’s blog visits the site and extracts the comment via the MicroID class, and adds it to the feed of current conversations.
For now, my first Wordpress plug-in is going to be an experiment to see if this works, and then we’ll move on from there, unless of course Chi.mp is moving in that direction, then I guess we’ll just have to see what they come up with.