It’s been a while since I wrote a blog piece – sorry, I’ve not had all that much to say of late! So I thought I would have a bit of a friday afternoon think and see if there was something loitering around in my brain. Lately work has been very process driven – the process of establishing a new Operator for the Shibboleth Consortium, the process of establishing new Operational Plans for the UK federation, and the very processy process of marking JISC bids.
Amongst all of this process, I managed to have a little bit of a chuckle the other day when David Flanders described asking for new access management methods as akin to asking for a new method of torture 🙂 OK people, I hear you. It can be bad.
A lot of people only think about the access part of the access management story – that we access folks just want to try and put barriers in the way of you getting to free stuff. We also do it really badly, which is really annoying for the users. Can’t we just go away? To let you in on a little secret, it’s never us that defines the license that restricts access and rarely us that designs the torturous interfaces for access…although we are trying to make it better (please listen to people like Rod and Andreas).
I log-in because I want to do something positive, not prevent something negative.
It becomes slightly less torturous when you think about why you are logging in. I rarely log-in to prove I have some magical right to access a resource I secretly think should be openly available, I log-in to say hey guys, its me! I couldn’t use twitter without access management, or this blog, or shop on amazon…you know this access stuff can be a bit of an enabler…
The power that ‘hey, it’s me’ adds to any platform, or any piece of information, is somewhat amazing. It transforms something static in to something that has life and a story to tell and a conversation to have. Suddenly your resource is a different resource, and a different resource every day as more people drop by to say ‘hey’.
So when thinking about an OER or an open access don’t just think, yay – no more access management torture. Have a think about what maintaining an identity layer to your resource can add to what you are trying to do, and embrace the hey!