OpenID is picking up steam

Now, a word from your sponsor.

I found some interesting discussions here and here on the topic. Anyone interested would be wise to spend some time in the comment threads.

While adoption/service by the AOLs, Yahoo!s and Diggs of the world is nice, I believe a larger piece of the puzzle is the trickle-down of both consumers (in the sense of login boxes on every site imaginable) and consumers (as in people actually getting one). The posts linked to above cover both of these, but please read carefully.

I’m not in agreement on a few points mentioned including the dire need for browser integration or selective choices in login boxes…

First, the point of OpenID is to have one identity from one provider that everyone accepts. If I have so many OpenID accounts that I need browser tools to manage them, then I’m back to square one. As for the latter, I think that is opening up a pandora’s box – the method is supposed to be open, and if you subject your particular login box to a certain selection of providers, you are going to wind up with the richest provider managing all the accounts. Then, if they fail, everyone goes down.

In summary, energies need directing at the distribution of consumers, and favored provision should be awarded to the server that delivers the cleanest, most reliable user experience (as determined by said user).

UPDATE: Simon Willison pointed out the opportunity of selecting providers. I’ll reiterate that I don’t think this is a good idea…users reaching a site with such a list, who have not been exposed to OpenID, could easily conclude they need to have an account at one of these places and opt-out immediately. The “smart” building of URLs from known lists without pre-selection criteria, however, could have merits.