Actually I kinda stole the idea in part from another failed project proposed by the SMF Friends Group
By itself a website is essentially a signpost saying this is me and this is what I have to say or this is my product. If all you want to do is provide basic information for the mass public view, that is well and good. Often you will also want a way to interact with those viewers too. Such as get their feedback on whatever you have to say, sell them the product, create a community in which your users can collaborate with you and or each other....
Community sites FaceBook, MySpace, Blogger, etc. will allow you communicate and collaborate with your viewers. Sites like Ebay, Amazon, Google, Yahoo etc. offer shopping cart services to sell your product, .
Again this is all well and good especially as an extra way to interact with the public but one of the best solutions out there is to have your own branded website. You can get your own domain name "mybrand.com" fairly cheaply and web hosting isnt too expensive either. Its even possible to host yourself from home or office if you want to go that route.
Once you have your domain and host you you can do most anything you want with it, you can do everything above including becoming your own community or shopping site. You just need time, money, and skills to do it or find the right tools to make a good quality site much more efficiently.
There are many tools out there both comercially or for free. Most of them do one thing well, such as a forum, a blog, a content management system, a robust user profile system, picture or file repository, or a shopping cart. Some try to blur the lines and incorporate other features but often it is often done poorly compared to the other tools out there geared towards the specific task. So unfortunately you often find yourself needing more then one of these tools to get the job done and then they just dont play nice together. Each tool requires you and your users to register, create a profile, and login separately.
Projects like OpenID, Google, and FaceBook as well as several others have tried to solve this by creating various sorts of Universal ID systems where a person would generally use the same login and password virtually everywhere on the net. This is achieved by creating a bridging system that plugs in to your tools (if they support it). Then in order to log into the systems on your site your users would log into the chosen UID system and then that system tells your tools via the bridge that the user is logged in.
While this might sound great to the end user as they only only have to remember one login and password for the entire internet. One login and password to rule them all, so to speak. It is also a major security risk because if someone figures out their one login and password they have access to everything. This can cause a big mess for both you and your user. It also detracts from your brand as the branding for the UID system is usually displayed and or your user is encouraged to visit that site. Also you still wind up with seperate profiles for each system.Finally My Solution:
I propose to create a tool that would provide a single user management system tool to be used on a site through which all other tools on the site could bridge through, making everything work together as a whole.
Through the management system the other tools would all use the one registration and login process creating a common login and password as well as basic profile information such as a display name, email address. That way each system could pull them into their existing profile system limiting some redundancy on the users part. Possibly this could also be customized either by the various bridges or at least the website manger so the less common info could be collected through the management system to be shared if needed.
Optionally it would even provide a common user profiling system
that would override the profile system in other tools all together, so they would all share the same user profiles rather then just the basics.
Probably the hardest part would be to create some sort of common template system that all the tools could share so as to streamline the look of the entire site. That way the end product would look like one single tool rather then a conglomeration of tools.
Lastly the user management system would stand on its own. So rather then just bridging existing tools, brand new tools could be created to plug directly into it.