Thoughts on Systems

Emil Sit

Mar 7, 2007 - 1 minute read - Technology openid security

OpenID: the future lies in consumption

OpenID has been generating a lot of buzz this past month: OpenID is a decentralized authentication mechanism that allows a consuming web-site to verify that “you” can authenticate to a particular identity provider (keyed by a URL). Big names from AOL to SmugMug to WordPress have recently announced that they are being OpenID providers.

Why so many providers? For one, it is pretty easy to become an OpenID provider—for example, I am my own provider using phpMyID. But I suspect that a major motivation for these big players is that OpenID allows them to position themselves as the URL of choice for their users. It’s a great way for them to get mindshare of the http://openid.aol.com/screenname-kind and retain customers.

However, provider mindshare is just a nice incentive to get the chicken-and-egg problem solved. Now, we must wait for more OpenID consumers to make the vision of OpenID a reality and really benefit you and me. 37signals getting on board is a nice step and it’ll be nice when WP, MT, Blogger and more support commenting with OpenID!