Technorati Confirmation

December 19, 2006 · Posted in abundance, innovation, Intellectual Property, sharing · Comment 

One of the methods Technorati uses to verify you own your blog is for you to post a special link on your blog, like this Technorati Profile. This verifies you have access to make new posts to your blog. This is a pretty good way of confirming identity. It also uses a basic principle of communication. In computer terms we call it ack / nack, or acknowledge.

Ack/Nak works by you sending a message then wait for a return message that contains information based on what you originally sent. This is also how public key encryption works. This approach confirms two things. First it confirms the identity of the sender. Secondly, based on the return information it confirms the message was correctly received and interpreted.

In the world of abundant information identity is highly valuable. Having good ways of confirming identity are essential. Most of the approaches used today, such as a social security number and a collection of secrets is seriously flawed. Of course the secrets can’t be secret because you need to share them with every business in order to confirm your identity. Bruce Schneier The Curse of the Secret Question. A system of using the message sent to answer a question is a much better method.

Of course there are possible weakness to even this approach, such as the man in the middle attack, but those are difficult.

The Ack / Nak method is even better for confirming the message was interpreted as intended. Innovation depends on understanding what customers wants. Effective correct communication is critical to understanding customers desires. One way that people can do this in normal human communication is to ask a question that requires the listener to respond in their own words. This not only shows the person heard the words but interpreted the meaning.

The side benefit of this method of communication is the extra focus on “how”. Focusing on how a need or desire is satisfied provides more accurate and objective ways of measuring success. It also is one the the steps in using the OutCompete method of predictive innovation.

Action Items

  • Think about times when you thought the other person understood but you later found out they didn’t.
  • The next time you give someone instructions, ask a question that requires them to use the information to answer. Why questions are good for this.