Basecamp using OpenID

Good to see that 37signals have adopted (optional) OpenID support for Basecamp. I was already using Basecamp with the older, local user account credentials, but the system allowed me to swap to using my OpenID very easily. Good work, as ever, by 37signals. However, I can’t help thinking that is only half the story. The ‘ID’ in OpenID is, at one level, about identity as in ‘Identity Card’. But my OpenID is also an identifier, which is fundamental in the context of the web. This is being lost in the system - knowing my OpenID does not help you to locate my projects in Basecamp for example. (This is not intended as a criticism of Basecamp or 37signals - I’m still enjoying the convenience of having one user account fewer to remember after all!) I’ve thought for a while that the introduction of URIs for people was the often overlooked yet potentially most interesting aspect of OpenID. In a resource-oriented-architecture, it would seem plausible to suppose that a reliable pointer to a representation of a person would be a useful thing. But when I try to sketch out a useful application for this, I struggle, partly because I don’t want to admit that the semantic-web people might have the answer, and it might be called RDF :-)

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