Relation between SSI, Inrupt, Solid and Project Liberty

Hi to all, thanks for your help and information. Relatively new to all this but sincerely curious as to what is the relation (if any) with SSI (it´s advocates Solid and Inrupt) and Project Liberty? Apart from Sr. Berners-Lee advisory work at MeWe company, there does not seem to be any more cooperation between them?
Is this true and is there a reason for that? I mean is DSNP different from SSI? I would say there are many similarities and a common goal at least? Thanks again for any help to clarify this.

Hi Mark! Great to have you as part of the community here.

You are correct (to my knowledge at least) that there has not been any formal collaboration between the technology workstreams under Project Liberty and Inrupt or Sir Tim. That said, it’s great to see such a diversity of projects and initiatives focused on some of the same core problems as DSNP, and I think learning from and exchanging ideas with other projects is not only healthy but crucial to our work, so we would always welcome opportunities to collaborate.

Self-sovereign identity is an interesting concept to compare and contrast. The main difference here is that DSNP is not aiming to be a self-sovereign identity in the full meaning of the term. Instead, DSNP provides users with a lightweight social identity, which may have a different lifecycle than a SSI. These lightweight identities are unlikely to be relevant for the purposes of, say, signing a legal document, but provide a way to give users control of their social graph and social media content. Users can link a DSNP identity to a more heavyweight identity like SSI, just as they might link their DSNP identity to a Web2 identity like an email address or Twitter handle—the main goal is to keep the user in control of what they do and don’t want to express with their social identity.

As a whole I look at DSNP as having a narrower focus than a project like Solid (though I see no reason they couldn’t coexist and collaborate). Another distinction is that DSNP is much more pragmatic and accommodating in terms of interoperability with and migration from legacy/Web2 social media platforms. MeWe is a good case in point: DSNP on Frequency provides MeWe with a clear path to enabling users to control their data without forcing them to embrace a whole new way of interacting with the apps they are used to (or indeed a whole new set of apps). In that sense, DSNP is about forging a path from here to there, whereas Solid is more about a paradigm shift. Those aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive goals, of course.

Philosophically, I’d say we all win if we continue to focus on driving adoption of protocols, not platforms, and do so in a way that makes it easy for people from all walks of life to secure the benefits that these protocols provide. I often think about this as the “mom test”—my mom (substitute the appropriate relative/acquaintance from your own experience) is reasonably tech savvy, but she’s unlikely to take the time required to understand and migrate to using a Mastodon server, for instance. UX designers call this concept “cognitive load”—one key goal of DSNP is to minimize this, the better to more quickly reap the benefits of decentralized control of our data at scale.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts, or if you see some specific ways the two projects could collaborate or be used together.

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Dear Wes,
Thank you for the elaborate reply. Extremely interesting and useful and shedding new light on these matters. Really helpful in understanding better the differences/similarities and will carefully reread your post a few times to really grasp it better. Intriguing to learn the concept of DSNP better also, your post made this also clear to me. So I am very happy with your contribution and I will certainly come back to try and offer more input from my side.