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July 25, 2008

MySpace does OpenID

TechCrunch report that MySpace will become YAOP (yet another OpenID Provider), bringing the total OpenID-enabled accounts to over 500 million.

The numbers are fun and superficially impressive but don't really amount to a "hill of beans" since they fail to acknowledge the two most pressing issues around OpenID adoption.  Firstly, that there aren't enough relying parties (i.e. sites that will allow you to log in using an OpenID provided by a different service) and secondly, that the user experience needs significant improvement.  The two are related, or so it seems to me, because I think there would be significantly more (and probably better) eyes looking at solving the usability problems if the big players entered the OpenID space as relying parties rather than (or as well as) OpenID providers.

Oh well, all adoption is good adoption I suppose...


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Hi Andy
To me OpenID seems like such a good idea, but like you say in practice it is a crap user experience, e.g. much slower to log on to websites. i tried it with identi.ca, but where as a trad username/passwd would be saved by my browser and i could tick 'remember me', with openid i had to go through several (slow) screens each time.

However, maybe its use is with those sites you want to log in to occasionally but hardly ever use. When I face a particular problem with something (like weird broadband problems) or want advice when purchasing something I often revert to specialist forums, but have to create an account, even though I will probably only use it the once. OpenID seems like a good idea for this.

Perhaps it is best serving the 'long tail' of little used user accounts. :)

PS perhaps it would be good when commenting on blogs as well. hmm

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