December 1, 2008
Sylvain Carle has a post on “distributed identity” today on his personal blog . As I noted last week in my Web 2.0 communities Trends post, “identity” is one of the key elements of Web 2.0 communities. Recent news (from the last few days in fact) shows that this a very hot topic. Facebook officially launched its Facebook Connect program (and its partnerships with Digg and Hulu), I’ve been playing with Google Friend Connect on Guillaume Thoreau’s blog, SixApart announced Typepad Connect, WordPress is quietly preparing Buddypress and the “open stack” with OpenID and oAuth is still out there as open options to those proprietary log-in systems.
What it means: controlling identity is one of the next big wars on the Web. Only sites/systems that have large install bases of users (Google, Yahoo, MSN, WordPress, SixApart, etc.) can hope to fight this battle. If you haven’t been collecting user information (like e-mail addresses), you will be dependent on these large identity networks. That’s not a bad thing though! This will allow you to jumpstart any initiative that requires your users to log-in. As long as users give you permission to access their data, you’re still ok. Main challenge: will users trust private companies will their identity information? Or will open standards triumph in the end? BTW, if you’re a media company and you’re still tied to a large ISP, you could be one of those big identity providers (even through OpenID). There’s still a play for you.
March 11, 2008
As I stated in my last yearly predictions, I think 2008 will be the year of identity, where we start solving the problem of having to create (and remember) multiple username/passwords to access all the sites we visit. A panel yesterday morning at SXSW08 offered us a glimpse into what could be THE solution for solving this issue: OpenID.
What is OpenID?
- A decentralized mechanism for SSO (single sign on) that tries to solved the username/password problem
- It’s a URL (an identifier) – the OpenID protocol lets you prove you own the URL
- Simple registration
- You can read more about what is OpenID here.
- Many people in the past have tried to solve the issue: Microsoft Password, TypeKey, Facebook
- But SSO with a single controlling authority betrays the principle of the web
Yahoo! & OpenID
- Yahoo is now an OpenID provider (has been since January)
- It means you can log-in to OpenID-compatible sites using your Yahoo log-in information (the reverse is not true though).
How to implement OpenID?
- See this presentation.
What it means: I think the consensus is that OpenID as a technology is ready to go, but it still lacks “marketing” and “user-friendliness”. Companies including Clickpass are trying to address that problem. See today’s coverage on Techcrunch for more details. Expect this technology to make waves in the next 12 -18 months. My Praized partner, Sylvain, is already talking about organizing a OpenID DevCamp in Montreal. Anyone else interested?