Some time ago, I tried OpenID. The end. Well, not quite. But I did manage to get an account set up with them, despite the trials & tribulations I went through at the time, and due in some part to the intervention of one of their support guys. The thing is, something like OpenID is needed now more than ever. But a few changes would need to be made to make OpenID relevant for todays very social web…
What is OpenID?
Before we begin, there’s a fake OpenID out there, which I urge you to avoid. Be sure to only pay a visit to the real OpenID.
For those not in the know (the other 99% of the ‘Netizens out there, as deftly pointed out to my David Bradley, over on Science Text) OpenID is:
“… an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity.
OpenID starts with the concept that anyone can identify themselves on the Internet the same way websites do-with a URI (also called a URL or web address). Since URIs are at the very core of Web architecture, they provide a solid foundation for user-centric identity.”
Don’t even try looking for the sign-up web page. They’ve got about different websites, all of which keep you bouncing between them.
If you want to sign-up to Open ID, then click here!
The future, in no particular order
Over the past couple of week, a pattern has been forming, one made of several threads, all of which came neatly together earlier today.
Bear with me, ‘coz this won’t be in any particular order, such as chronological, which would be really sensible, wouldn’t it?
Earlier today, I posted a comment on a Search Engine Journal article highlighting the new iRazoo, social search portal:
“Frustrated of the search results they get from the current search engine giants, the four web entrepreneurs backed with technology backgrounds developed their own social search engine-iRazoo, which is launching today.
iRazoo and so it claims is the ‘world’s first people-powered, points driven, search engine’. What sets it apart from other social search engine is that it gives users the opportunity to register and earn points everytime they use the iRazoo search engine.”
To which I commented thus:
“Sounds like how I imagined Sproose to be when that rolled out, which is a relief.
Personally, I think this fills a yawning void that Google could have clearly and quite easily filled.
But for one reason or another, they passed on that one.
Maybe they thought Google Universal would be ‘the one’, but I don’t think that’s the case…”
Let’s be honest, Google doesn’t have all of the answers. Not yet, anyhow. And I think there’s plenty of room for social search.
But then another article came along over on Mashable this time, discussing a work-related social network:
“A new online mapping tool: WorkedHere has launched a social networked crossed with a mapping service that helps you find buddies from your old workplace. Find workplaces, create workplaces and add your profile.”
To which I replied:
“There’s a good chance that we’re approaching saturation point with regards to social networks.
I know of a handful of people who’re suffering from a terrible case of Social Network Fatigue.
If this were me, I’d be mindful of not just hooking up with the omnipresent Google Maps API and to think in terms of hooking up with pre-existing social networks to let members auto-fill their profiles…”
And there it is, the new internet illness – Social Network Fatigue.
It’s chronic, it’s debilitating, but the good news is, it’s fully treatable.
And you don’t have to sit in a dark room, feet elevated above the heart with a damp flannel on your forehead, either.
For fast, instant relief for Social Network Fatigue, get OpenID .. or something like it!
In addition to the regular, common-or-garden variety comment spam, there’s now paid-for comment spam to contend with, which has the potential to wreak havoc if left unchecked.
So with that in mind, added to the growing daily stresses caused by Social Network Fatigue, we need a cure, and fast!
And this is where we run up the road, chasing after OpenID. Clutching the handle of her suitcase, begging her to come back home, where it’s warm.
In its present form, OpenID is quite limited in terms of features. But the potential is there.
And in the current climate, OpenID is just aching to get all Web 2.0 and friendly, and personable, and utilitarian .. and by gum, useful too!
Here’s where the guys behind OpenID ought to allow for people to add in their bulging list of social network profiles, which would identify them as who they are no matter how or where they travel on the Interweb.
They’re sort of doing this with Ma.gnolia, but there’s so much more that could be done to not just manage the sign-in process, but the broader profile, too.
Now, I sense some of you thinking: “wha?” as if this doesn’t really matter. As if a little Social Network Fatigue is just for web wimps.
Well it does matter, and it’s not just about social web stress, either. Identity theft is very real. And it’s not just for those in the really real world with their Chip & PIN cards.
Not convinced? Well, here’s the final thread that ties a neat bow around this story, one of a WikiYou near you:
“Today, I’m going to bring up the subject of privacy again, having taken a look at a site called WikiYou.
According to Mashable!, WikiYou is a recently launched wiki devoted to the task of ensuring every person in the world has an online biography.
On the face of it, WikiYou seems like a good idea. Anyone can create and maintain biographies of anyone else, and there are also search facilities, which nicely sets up WikiYou as a quick and easy way to find information about people as the number of entries grows.
However, one of the main features of WikiYou is also the scariest thing about it – the fact that anyone can write anyone else’s biography.”
Still not worried?
That’s OK, I’ll be worried for you, shall I?
Come back OpenID, all is forgiven!
But only if you do all the things on this list I have right here.
Do we have a deal? Damn, she’s gone again…
- OpenID: an actually distributed identity system
- Social Search Engine iRazoo Launches
- Google’s search information paradox
- WorkedHere – Social Maps for Work Buddies
- Search to get a social sproose up?
- Google Universal no panacea for all search
- Buy Blog Comments – A Sick New Comment Spam Service Launches
- Chip and PIN card security compromised (again)
- Unlucky you – you’re in WikiYou