On OpenID

OpenID is getting a lot of attention this week. At LQ, we're obviously supporters of Open Standards and Open Source, but this is something slightly different. We're also believer that you own your identity and attention data. We've supported FOAF for a long time and do what we can to make sure your data is yours. While it's not without problems that need to be addressed, I'm happy to announce that soon, we'll also be supporting OpenID. It will be interesting to see how OpenID progresses. Your “login” is something that is very important to the big vendors (think Google and Yahoo! here). Once you've signed up for a login, it makes their barrier to entry to get you to try an additional one of their products or projects that much easier. After all, all you have to do is login to your existing account. Once you use 3-4+ services, it's quite hard to leave. You're what they call sticky at that point, and that's what every vendor wants. Of course, it's also easier for companies to maintain. We learned that the hard way at LQ. For example, for a while each site we launched had a different authentication system. It was really hard to get people to use LQ Bookmarks when you had to sign up for a distinct account. After we rolled it into the main infrastructure and allowed you to use your existing LQ login procedure, usage increased by leaps and bounds. At this point, the only LQ site that still has a distinct login is the LQ Wiki. That's by design though as we want the barrier to entry there to be a low as possible – it's a wiki after all. In that vein, the LQ Wiki will be the first site to support OpenID. After we're able to get a better feel for the technology and implementation, we'll make further decisions from there. No solid ETA for support at this point, but it should definitely happen this quarter. Stay tuned.

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