[thelist] [OT] OpenID

Lee Kowalkowski lee.kowalkowski at googlemail.com
Tue Mar 24 15:29:33 CDT 2009

2009/3/24 Jim Puls <jim at nondifferentiable.com>:
>> On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 4:55 AM, Lee Kowalkowski <
>>> I've only seen it used on stackoverflow.com, which is even a headache
>>> for a user if you don't habitually authenticate with one of their
>>> OpenID providers whenever you surf.
>>> --
>>> Lee
> The way I see it, "if you don't habitually authenticate with one of their
> providers" is a non-starter. The number of people on the web without a
> Google account, a Yahoo! account, an AOL account, a Wordpress account, a
> Livejournal account, or a Blogger account is pretty vanishingly small, is it
> not?

I'd say 'not' I think, yes they may own an account of at least one
OpenID provider, but regular use is not the same thing.

It depends on your target audience, but most web users seem to be
(inexplicably) content with the email service provided by their ISP.
As for blogging accounts, most web users do not blog, or comment on
them (http://site.despair.com/blog/2007/10/11/new-despairwear-your-blog/).

Ebay and facebook are probably the amongst the biggest sites where
users must log in before being able to achieve anything.  But I'm sure
most users of these sites are not savvy enough to understand why
they're being asked to log into their beloved eBay or facebook account
when they were just on a completely different (and relatively unknown)
site, they're more likely to suspect phishing.  This is a major
usability obstacle until OpenID becomes a household name (Twitter is
beginning to emerge as a household name in the UK, thanks to celebrity
exposure, but it's not quite there yet, like Google or YouTube).

The likelihood of already being authenticated with your OpenID
provider is not that great, except from a home/regular computer with
"keep me signed in" cookies.  But with the stackoverflow example, you
can keep yourself signed into stackoverflow with a cookie anyway,
bypassing the OpenID process entirely (thankfully).

Google only recently added support for OpenID, which will be better
for me at least, once I've changed my linked accounts.


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