Mining User Identity

Short Form


Identity and social grouping are foundations of how we understand people that come to our sites and products, yet companies simply stop at implementing a flat profile. We will look into the concepts of human identity through concepts like tribalism, while using identity data mining open source initiatives, to show how integrated identity can help you understand your users to a greater degree than ever before.


From Mozilla’s new BrowserID and PayPal Access to OpenID, OAuth and the Facebook Graph API, determining user identity has become a simple matter of leveraging a profile. The problem is that human identity is so far beyond a profile, yet that is exactly the stage where most companies stop working with it.

In this talk we will explore the concepts of human identity, and how tribalism & social grouping provides a core understanding of the sociological backbone of identity. Through these foundations, we’ll see how you can generate incredibly personalized experiences for both anonymous and logged in users for sites that are inherently social and those that are marketplace driven.

We will look at how user identity can be mined through open source technologies and data scraping, generating personality profiles for every user that comes to your site to generate a new understanding of how people work beyond a simple profile.

Speaking experience

I have been a developer evangelist for 5 years, giving talks at dozens of conferences with audiences ranging from a few people to 700+, within formats ranging from lightning talks to all day workshops.

Here is an audio track from SXSWi 2012 where I cover the concepts of human identity and social grouping:

Here are links to some of my talks / past work:
My book:

A few conference session videos:


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    Jonathan LeBlanc

    X.commerce (eBay)


    Jonathan is an Emmy award-winning software engineer and the author of the O’Reilly book “Programming Social Applications.” He specializes in open source initiatives around the implementation of social engagement services. He also works with and promotes emerging technologies to aid in the adoption and utilization of new social development techniques, such as his work on the OpenSocial foundation board. As a software engineer, Jonathan works extensively with social interaction development, engaging in new methods for targeting the social footprint of users to drive the ideal of an open web.