How can I configure a fixed (unchanging) ID?

I’ve only just begun to learn about distributed social networks today, so I’ve probably got some concepts not clear in my head - bear with me!

I am looking at different distributed networks like diaspora*, mastodon, friendica, etc. I’m almost positive I will be switching not only between different pods within a network, but possibly switching networks entirely as I figure all this out.

It appears to me that my unique identity within a network is in email format (username@domain). The identity I’m given depends of course on the pod I choose to register with. For example, I found a friendica pod, signed up, and now I’m known as Great! Problem is, I may choose to use diaspora* or mastodon instead - and I’ll get a different ID with these. This in itself isn’t the problem, the problem is that whenever I switch around I’ve got to update my friends so they can stay connected. It’s the same problem that keeps me from using an email from my ISP - it’s a pain to change.

If I have my own domain name, can I choose to ‘fix’ my distributed social network ID to something like ‘’? By using either a redirecting server or (better yet) a metadata JSON hosted in a well-known location that redirects to my actual ID du jour I could always maintain the same ID, at least for as long as I kept the domain name and kept the metadata file up to date.

I am posting this in the ‘support’ group instead of ‘ideas’ since there’s a good chance it’s already been identified and potentially solved. I chose to post it to disapora* instead of other networks because this discussion forum seemed the most straightforward to navigate :slight_smile:

Any assistance or perhaps tips to point me in the right direction to find the information myself (I don’t know what keywords even to use to begin finding this out) are appreciated.

Upon account creation diaspora* generates a public/private keypair. As other servers discover your profile, they fetch this keypair and associate it to corresponding diaspora* ID. Currently there’s no mechanism to lift this association again. This is done to prevent impersonation, think preventing phishing emails where someone claims to own your email address, but they don’t.

In your idea, when you sign up on a new server, this keypair would need to travel along in some way. Currently there’s no mechanism for any of this.


Gotcha, thanks Jonne. I’ll see if I can think about it a bit more.

Sorry to bump this old thread… but i was thinking the same upon exploring Diaspora.

If it generates a keypair, would it then not be possible to make it so that the user can export this, then import this on another pod, and the pod then notifies other pods in the network that this user changed ID’s and that this is his new ID?

That way, users wouldnt need to change anything?

The experimental data migration/import available in the 0.8 preview does this, but it still has bugs and no UI.

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