Identity: Usernames, Rings, etc.

Three years ago, I was pretty enthusiastic about OpenID.

Those of us who use (or at least try) too many web services tend to regard OpenID as good news: it means that each of us can sign in to one service in order to access multiple services… Now we get to the bad news. Most of the services I use don’t accept OpenID.

The bad news never went away, and is in some ways getting worse. 37signals will cease to support OpenID on May 1.

There are at least three other strikes against OpenID, besides the fact that many sites don’t accept it. Your ID is a URI, which might seem a little weird unless you are actually a web page. That URI can seem like one more thing to keep track of, bookmark, etc: the OpenID as well as the sites you use it to access. And what do you do when your OpenID provider is down?

So, more and more, we see web services inviting us to sign in using our credentials from one of the big sites, often Facebook. This may seem a little like using the one ring forged in, and always owned by, Mordor.

But we do have our choice of lords of the login. Mike at RWW recently noted that LinkedIn is growing as the login of choice for business-to-business (B2B) sites. He deduces from this that “users prefer certain identities for certain online activities.” So maybe Jekyll and Hyde is a better literary reference than Lord of the Rings when it comes to logins.

LinkedIn to WordPress

Automattic Heather just pronounced herself happy to announce the launch of the WordPress App for LinkedIn. I just added the app to my LinkedIn profile. When prompted for the URI of my blog, I specified this blog.

But there’s at least one other WordPress-powered blog I’d like to add to show up on my LinkedIn profile. So, while I welcome the WordPress App for LinkedIn, I hope that it will soon allow my LinkedIn visitors to see posts from multiple WordPress blogs.

LinkedIn Looking Like a Laggard

At first, I wondered why it was news to at least two blogs that it will be possible to enhance your LinkedIn profile with – a photo! Then I realized that the point of the story is that it’s taken four years. I guess I should find a respectable looking photo to put on my profile.

And what about the LinkedIn API for developers? Apparently, it’s still under development…