Brian Breslin

OpenID: why you should be following it

There has been alot of buzz lately about openID, and rightfully so, its an interesting new project that has been years in the making.  For those of you not in the know, and I don’t blame you, OpenID is a decentralized login system for multiple sites and blogs. Essentially its a non-microsoft run passport system.

Right now I would say its about 6 months away from being something you should consider building your apps around, but not quite there yet.  The OpenID group needs to clarify and dumb down what they are trying to do.  Once the masses, or at least the techcrunch masses get wind of this, and all understand how to use it, then you should start looking at it with a watchful eye.  This is sort of a problem of the chicken and egg (everything is… i know, i know) do you spend the money developing for this before there is a critical enough mass of users? Do you wait?

The real reason I started writing this was because I think once this does gain critical momentum, it will be an interesting tool for smaller websites to use. I would put money on this right now, that if you were to implement this once its more widespread, you would increase your conversion rates of visitors to signups on your site.  Why? Because you are removing the friction associated with user signups. This day in age we are so overwhelmed by having to signup for yet another website, that removing that requirement is a welcome sight.

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