|What Is Windstone?
Last Updated: 2005-11-07
What is Windstone?
Windstone is a set of standards and formats used to exchange information in a secure way. Think of it like this: Two students in a classroom want to talk to each other but can't talk to each other normally because other classmates and the teacher can hear what they're saying. If the two students pass notes, the other students and the teacher cannot overhear what they're saying, but if someone looks at the note, they know what's going on. If the two students were to, say, create a kind of secret code to write to each other, they can talk and nobody but them knows what they're talking about.
This is the basis of Windstone. Two WebSites need to talk to each other but don't want anybody to overhear, so they use a secret code (encryption) to talk to each other that only the two WebSites know and understand.
What Can Windstone Do For My Site?
There is literally a host of benefits of using Windstone. Namely, universal login and registration. Windstone issues a kind of drivers license to a person. That person can use that drivers license to drive all over the Internet and maybe even your WebSite. If your WebSite accepts the Windstone drivers license, then the user can simply let you know that they're going to drive on your roads and go along their merry way. Instead of issuing your own drivers license to the user, you just simply make a note of their drivers license number and let them be on their way. This way the user doesn't have to keep getting a new drivers license every time they want to use a WebSite (e.g. registering on your site).
Another major feature is universal messaging. This is like being able to write a letter to someone and the message follows them. You write a letter, send it off, and the message finds the person you were writing to and gives itself to them.
What Can Windstone Do For the Regular User?
One registration for all WebSites, for everything you need to do, and one password. You use your existing Email address as your username (you do know your Email address, right?). No juggling large amounts of usernames, passwords, screen names, contact lists, messenger programs, etc. Simplify. That's what we have computers for.
What About Privacy?
Privacy these days is a big concern for all of us and your privacy is important to us, too. You choose the Email address that you register with. That Email address is not given out unless it is requested, meaning, in order for someone to get your Email address, they must already know it (e.g. you registered with a site). You choose as much or as little information that you want others to see such as your "about me" information. And, if you want to hide from the world a little while, you can change your status to Invisible so that other's think you're offline but you really aren't.
Basically the only information that can be used against you is your Email address, of which, you get to choose. Everything else is made up by you. On top of that, nobody knows you even registered unless you tell them. And then, even with your Email address, only other WebSites using Windstone can get your information (not other users) -- which may or may not say that you are a large, plush, purple dinosaur, depending on what kind of day you were having at the time. ;O)
What Do I Need to Use Windstone On My Site?
A host or Internet connection of some sort, follow the Windstone protocol standards, and your favorite programming or scripting language. That's it! You can find out more about the technical details here. You can use any programming or scripting language you wish. Seriously. (Also, check out a presentation on how to integrate your existing WebSite's username/password login method with Windstone's at CyberArmy Podcasting, Episode #9.)
What About Us Users? How Can We Start Using Windstone?
All you need to do is register. ;O)