Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Clique Space(TM) value proposition.

I've been thinking more about the value of Clique Space, and here are a few more suggestions. This web log is taken from another private letter I wrote to someone who has been helping me frame the concept so it can be understood by others.

1. Remote device control.

I believe this is a differentiating quality, because even though there exist some network administration utilities that are capable of remote device administration, I assert that no other technology makes a case for this notion as flexibly as Clique Space.

To comprehend how flexible remote device administration in Clique Space is, one must be comfortable with the concept whereby a Clique Space user is capable of connecting as many devices as one possesses to as many Clique Spaces as one has access to. Amongst those devices (Client Devices) so connected, a user may have one device that gives the user access to a Clique Space View. Through this Clique Space View, the user may also control all Client Devices which they have obtained Connections for, and all Cliques one Owns on all Clique Spaces on has connected this View to.

One might want to obtain a Clique Space Connection for a device that one does not have physical possession of. Although one would have to indicate to Clique Space some address so Clique Space could contact the device in question, one might not have to know anything specific about how that device is located through its own addressing mechanism, because the Clique Space might be informed about how to contact the device in question through the Media Profile that has been installed on the Clique Space by that Clique Space's administrators; all one might have to remember is a generic Clique Space addressing mechanism, and the installed Media Profile might provide a mapping of this address to one specific for the device in question.

Depending largely on the versatility provided by the installed base of Media Profiles, a Clique Space may completely remove from the user, the necessity of having to remember any device specific control semantics. A user might only have to deal with one interface: the interface provided through a Clique Space View to connect a device to Clique Space, control a device within Clique Space, or engage a device within Clique Space with any other device within or outside of Clique Space in a collaboration moderated by Clique Space; the Clique.

2. User privacy assurances through multiple Affiliations.

While other access control systems may have notions of role-based access control, I do not believe any other concept uses this notion with quite the same versatility as Clique Space. Clique Space role-based access control is realised through the Affiliation, which is an association between an Account Profile and an Account. Like an Account, which identifies a single Clique Space user, Account Profiles and Affiliations are Clique Space Elements.

Because an Affiliation is a Clique Space Element, an Affiliation can be published as can the Account and Account Profile to which it relates. Now, regardless of whether a user knows the Account identity of another user, this first user may be unable to enquire on the Account identity of the second because the second user may have instructed Clique Space, through the application of a Limiting Constraint, not to divulge any knowledge of the second user's Account. The first user, instead, would only be able see connections of the second user that were associated (through an Active Affiliation) to the second user's published Affiliation.

Hence, the second user would have a way to assure privacy at the level of specific Client Devices by selecting an Affiliation through which each Client Device Connection is established. A user could therefore maintain multiple presences on multiple Clique Spaces simultaneously under the same Account name. However, owing to the fact that the user manages multiple Affiliations, a user could maintain separate guises and separate, flexible awarenesses to other users.

Now for an anecdote that combines a bit of both points.

This morning, I discovered that I lost my mobile phone. Yesterday evening, I had coffee and cake with a friend at a McDonald's in Wollongong. I did not know that I had left it there, but I was informed of this when my mother told me someone had left a message on her phone telling me my phone was set aside to be picked up. Indeed, I was happy to get it back and thankful to the person; both because they took the time to call my mother who, they probably (and correctly) assumed, would be a good choice of go-between, and for the fact that they understood that the phone was my property and they should make an effort to return it to me.

However, even though they had to go through my contacts or call-log to find a suitable person to send a message to (they chose my mother because she is recorded in my contacts as "Mum") I did feel as though my privacy was violated. This was unavoidable under the circumstances, but with a system like Clique Space, this violation of privacy needn't happen. If my phone were connected to the public Clique Space, and was displaying my Affiliation to the public Clique Space's Account Profile named "Self", the individual who picked it up may be able to get in contact with me directly.

That individual could use a device that offer's a View to the public Clique Space to enquire on my Affiliation, bringing into View any other devices connected under the same affiliation. This individual could then find a compatible device, say, email, and using my email address which is supplied perhaps through a Connection to my email server, contact me directly. This individual would therefore have avoided going through my phone's contact list or call log, and they also would have contacted me directly - removing the possibility that whoever they did decide to contact would not have passed the message on to me.

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