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OpenID Begins To Consider Usability; Let’s Stop Marketing The OpenID Name
The OpenID group will announce today at the Web 2.0 Expo some new functionality for the login option. I’ve written many times before that OpenID has the technology down but the usability and marketing is lacking. Today’s launch is the OpenID Selector (pictured below) which allows a user to click the box to enter their name and be presented with a variety of services that support OpenID. Once a user has successfully logged in once using a service in the selector, the selector will be pre-filled in for future login needs on any OpenID enabled site.
I spoke at length with the group leading the OpenID charge, Janrain’s Brian Kissel and Tore Steen last week. I enjoyed chatting with them as I find OpenID to be a powerful vehicle and it’s interesting to learn what’s going on from their side. From my side, I am starting to believe that we don’t need to market the term ‘OpenID’ to consumers. No one cares about the technology, they only want to login to their favorite service using their AOL or Google id. It’s like TCP/IP, no one cares how it works, just that our email shows up in the inbox and Twitter loads when we want to tell our friends we just saw Britney at CVS. I’d still like to see a browser plugin that allows me to login once and passes the info around as needed – that’d be super hot.
With that said, this OpenID Selector is a great first step towards mainstream adoption. Rafe Needleman at Webware has some additional commentary on the release.