Centralized registry for usernames

I was part of a twitter conversation the other day with @penguin and @geekgiant were we discussed how frustrating it is to go to a new service and have you “go-to” username already taken.  It seems to me that something like OpenID should have a username registry where you could reserve a username much like you would reserve a domain name.  Then any services that work with OpenID would have to query the username registry before allowing someone to pick a username.

I think such a service is becoming more and more desirable.  With the rapid rise of Social Media many people have essentially developed brand equity or “self-equity” with their usernames.  Think of twitter and all of the ‘twitter-lebrities’.  Imagine if someone was able to register @scobelizer or @laughingsquid on the next up and coming social network, there is some equity to be had which may even translate into a monetary transaction for the rightful person to own their identity.


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