Theresa O’Connor

Yet Another OpenID

OpenID

Bloglines just announced that they support OpenID.

What they mean is that your Bloglines account can act as an OpenID—Bloglines is an OpenID provider, not an OpenID consumer. I don’t think this is particularly useful. By my current reckoning, I now have thirteen OpenIDs. Would someone please stop the insanity?

To be fair, Bloglines says they’ll be accepting OpenID logins soon. But why become an identity provider in the first place? Consumers already have many good identity provider choices. This is not a new issue.

By becoming Yet Another OpenID provider, sites today are engaging in a sort of identity hubris. Consider LiveJournal. LiveJournal users identify with (and are identified by) their journals in a very real, personal way. So it makes a lot of sense for LiveJournal to be an identity provider. But suppose webvan still existed and became an OpenID provider. Doesn’t that strike you as strange?

I prefer sites which practice account humility—putting their users in the driver’s seat by accepting OpenID logins.

Update: Flickr will become an OpenID provider as well. My point stands.