User Stories

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WebID User Stories

The following section is a work in progress that presents a few WebID user stories and use cases. The primary focus will be to demonstrate how a WebID-enabled Web returns control over identity and privacy management to the user level offering a number of user-centric benefits as individuals travel and interact across the Social Web.

User Stories tell a human story of an user's interaction with a service, from start to finish. Use Cases are smaller elements of human interaction pulled from those User Stories, and Requirements are technical descriptions of the under-the-covers technologies needed to satisfy those Use Cases.

At this stage, all use cases will focus on browser-based user interaction. In other words, WebID in a webby world. Furthermore, as WebID is focused on user authentication, little focus will be given to user authorization of resources.

Initially, this document will be a high-level concept document, not delving into the technological requirements necessary to accomplish each case. Once we have settled on a sufficient diversity of user stories and use cases, the relevant technological details and challenges can be added to each story or case.

This wiki will eventually be turned into a final use case document that demonstrates the benefits and value of WebID in a number of scenarios. As such it cannot and is not intended to cover all possible uses of a WebID.

Also see:


The following list of actors should consistently be used in the below stories. This is not only keeping with typical Social Web user agent naming conventions, but also it follows the List of Possible Actors used by the W3C’s Federated Social Web Incubator Group.

General-purpose Characters

  • Alice
  • Bob
  • Carol
  • Dave
  • Eve
  • François

Specific-purpose Characters

  • Kurt: Boss of above general-purpose characters
  • Laura: University student studying abroad
  • Trent: Developer working for a social network service used by another actor in a story

Special-case Characters (actors with disabilities, differences in age, culture, ethnic background, etc.)

  • Justin
  • Ursula
  • Victor
  • Walter
  • Xavier
  • Yuki
  • Zoe

User Stories

Below we should differentiate from WebID usage within a given site and between sties, (i.e. distributed)

1. Account creation, Authorization, and User Profile/Content Management

This is within a given site

User account creation

Alice comes across a tweet announcing the next, greatest social network de jour. Visiting the link provided in the tweet, she finds the new site’s concept exciting and decides to sign up for the private beta.

She clicks on the the sign-up button and is presented with two options to create her new account:

  • Enter a username and password
  • Sign up using your WebID

Alice, being a Web-savvy geek, has been aware of WebIDs for sometime. She self-hosts her own blog, believing in the importance of owning and controlling her own website. Recently, she created her own WebID.

Excited that this new social network is obviously on the bleeding edge, Alice provides her WebID to the new site and her new account is quickly created. She is ready to test drive this new service.

She tells her group of friends about the new service and how great it is that they offer WebID as an option.

User authorization (AuthN) via federated single sign-on

One of Alice’s friends, Bob, has followed her lead and has also signed up with this new, hip social networking site. Similar to the above User Case, Bob had recently created his own WebID. He used it to create his account.

Now that he has returned to the site, he quickly and easily signs on using his WebID. He is amazed at how simple and effortless it is to authenticate with his WebID. He’s been a big fan of single sign-on identities, but he realizes that WebIDs are different than other options he has used before.

Briefly explain differences and advantages here...????

Tagging ownership of content in streams

Carol, like Alice and Bob, quickly joined the new social network once she learned of its amazing vision. She had not heard of WebID before and asked Bob what it was and how she could get one. Since Carol also owns her own website, Bob told her, it would simple to create her own WebID. She did and used it to create her new account.

As she was participating in a thread discussion with Alice, Bob, and a few others, she became concerned about the photos that she uploaded to the stream conversation. She contacted Customer Support via their real-time chat service and asked about who owns the content uploaded to a particular stream thread?

Trent, the User Liaison with the site, replied quickly assuring her that since she had associated her account with her WebID, that all of her submitted content was automatically tagged with her WebID when uploaded. Carol was reassured. She also learned from Trent that because she was using a WebID, that she could easily control who had access to each content item that she chooses to share with others.

Carol thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to had control over all of my submitted content on the Web. She wondered if her WebID might allow that.

Editing a user's profile

When Alice signed up with this new social network, she did not take the time to fully fill out her profile. She’s really liking this innovative, disruptive new site and decides that it is time to add more information to her profile.

Although she is authenticated (logged in) to the site, the site is forward thinking, requiring that any changes to a user’s profile be verified by reentering a correct password. However, since Alice uses WebID, she does not need to reenter a password. Instead...

2. Building a User’s Social Graph

Does this item fall outside of this CG's scope???

Subscribing to another user’s stream or channel
Establishing a Web of Trust (WOT)

Link to FOAF resources...

3. Access Control

Does this item fall outside of this CG's scope???

  • WebID and Crawlers: how WebID could help enforce crawling policies, and make life easier for crawlers

4. Special Use Cases

Semantic Pingback

Additional Federated Social Web User Case Resources