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The Social Web: Creating An Open Social Network with XDI (01 Jul 2004)
Today's Web links web pages and other digital objects; the promise of the Social Web is to link people and organizations. While digital objects live entirely on the network and therefore have relatively stable network addresses, people and organizations live in the dynamic real world—they move and change addresses (postal, phone, fax, email, Web, IM, blog) all the time. They even change their real-world names. Yet their identity remains the same.

This represents a tremendous challenge for the Social Web: how can it maintain long-term, trusted links between real people and organizations over the Internet if their network addresses are constantly changing?

The answer is a new type of abstract address called an XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier). Developed by the OASIS XRI Technical Committee, XRIs solve the problem of maintaining persistent addresses for people and organizations—addresses that do not need to change no matter how often the contact data for a person or organization changes. This is done by adding a new layer of addressing over the existing IP numbering and DNS naming layers used on the Internet today.
Article URL: http://journal.planetwork.net/article.php?lab=reed0704

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