I just read this post by Kaliya and it got me thinking about Identity relationships.

I think Kaliya is right that the connection between identity and relationships between identities (a.k.a. Social Networks) is a hot topic which will probably get some answers in 2007 (hopefully even good ones).

What if we could have relationships between identities (between OpenID identities, for example)?

We could store them as part of our identity (I’m sure we can think of a creative use of XFN and identities like OpenID since it is also a distributed way of showing relationships between people) and “take our friends with us” to other sites that we sign up, eliminating the need to manually re-enter and “drag” our friends to every hot new social networking site.

Of course, we don’t want to add all of our friends to every social network site we sign up to, so we should be able to choose which ones we will “import”, the same way we can choose which fields of our persona that our OpenID server shares with the site we are registering to.

The major question here is if specifications such as OpenID should contain relationships between identities. Should it be an integral part of OpenID, should it be an extension of it?

I don’t really know yet. I guess I should dig deeper into the OpenID specifications and see if there is room for such a thing and if there are further discussions that are leaning towards such an approach.

I guess time will tell, hopefully circa 2007…