What is a nomadic identity

Nomadic identity is not easy to understand. This is a new concept.. Hubzilla is a decentralisated community publication plateform that use nomadic identity. Mike Macgirvin explain with a simple example what is nomadic identitiy



I’ve had to answer a lot of questions about nomadic identity recently. It’s not that hard. Let me try and bring it to an easier conceptual level.

For our example we’ll start with email since it’s a concept many people sort of understand.

You’ve got a friend named Bob. Bob has two email accounts. He has a home account at bob@home.server, and he has a work account at bob@work.server . Now most people instinctively know that if they get an email from either address, that they’ve received an email from Bob. They usually don’t even think about what server he is using.

Nomadic identity just means that when we send an email, we will send to both of Bob’s addresses any time we send an email to Bob. This way he’ll get the message no matter if he’s at home or if he’s at work.

Simple enough? Good, let’s continue.

Now let’s take this into the decentralised social networking space such as provided by Hubzilla. What’s different? The only thing is that if Bob posts a picture while he’s at work, his work server send a copy to his home server so he’ll have the same picture in his photo albums in both places. If he makes a new friend, the friend will be added on both servers so he has the same friends no matter where he goes.

Now if Bob loses his job and his account gets removed from work.server, Bob’s onlife life still goes on and he still knows the same people and still can post the same things. He’ll just use home.server; and then when he gets a new job, he can send you stuff from bob@newjob.server. Your software will instantly notice – « hey, this is my friend Bob! » even if it has never heard of newjob.server before and update some stuff internally to indicate that Bob can now be reached at newjob.server.

None of this matters to you, because as far as your software is concerned, it’s just ‘Bob’. You don’t care what server he uses or what job he has this week.

That’s what nomadic identity is all about..

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