Gradual Epiphany

Identity: Number or Name?

A really great article by Sean McGrath that touches on a fundamental problem in identity — what schema works best for applying handles to people? Should everyone just have a fixed number or do we want to allow those fancy names like dsmith3904?

What Sean misses in his commentary is the fact that there is an alternative to the “flat” namespace propogated by AOL (and the like) — email address also have a domain name available for use. There’s still going to be segmentation of users, since not everyone will be able to have their own DNS name, but it’s to a lesser degree since the namespace is significantly larger.