I’ve had this opinion for some time but felt that it was time to memorialize it: OpenID is not only the domain of grassroots developers, but it also (and should be more so) is the domain of small and independent businesses.
What better way to know and serve your customer than to be able to both identity who they are consistently and, where appropriate, hook up complementary services between sites through on uniform authentication experience?
Blinksale announced its support for OpenID today, only two weeks after 37 Signals upgraded Basecamp, their flagship collaboration app, to support the protocol following a successful trial on Highrise, their contact management web app. In the comments, Jason pointed out that the Open Bar feature of Basecamp enabled by OpenID will eventually be present in all their apps, hinting at how OpenID helps you better serve your customers across disparate applications.
I think that this is where OpenID will really shine — where you can have web applications like Basecamp, Highrise, Harvest, Blinksale, Freshbooks, Pownce and others all working seemlessly together even if they’re provided by different vendors, simply because they’re able to treat you as the same person as you move from one to another.
Screw big business adoption; the place where OpenID wins is with the little guys in small business — and with the grassroots folks who are agile, who can move to adopt this technology and who realize that this is the best chance they’ve had to really start treating their customers like real people instead of isolated records in their user database like all the big guys have for so long.
And I’m absolutely thrilled that business likes Blinksale and 37 Signals are starting to see this and turn this into a reality.