OpenID, step-by-step

OpenID, the distributed identity management system, has been around for a while. Nobody really pays much attention to it because it was invented by the LiveJournal crew (think Brad Fitzgerald), and the general consensus around the blogosphere is that LiveJournal is a platform everyone would like to forget even exists. Why? It doesn’t cater to brown-nosers – so brown-nosers don’t cater to it. LiveJournal’s 12 million accounts don’t seem to care, and neither does some big names like Verisign (who have tentatively embraced OpenID).

Having tooled with LiveJournal for five or so minutes (x 10^5), I have to say it is a big pain in the ass, but it works, and works well. OpenID is no different, albeit the implementation in LJ is used only to authenticate comments. Blog tracker Technorati decided to adopt OpenID standards for claiming blogs, and a newer version 2 is in box – now folks are waking up. At least a bit.

Meanwhile, here’s a good primer on how to create your own OpenID, as well as where you can presently use it.


Justin says:

Brad Fitzpatrick et al at LJ are very smart guys. Quite a few of us out here sit up and pay *lots* of attention whenever they produce something… anyone who ignores LJ technical bits does so at their own peril 😉

OpenID is fantastic, of course.

Verisign liked it, btw, because it’s decentralised — and not owned by one of their competitors (like MS’ Passport). it’s funny how incumbent competition can focus corporate minds on open-source solutions.

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