While I like OpenID as a concept, I think it has been a bit too technical for the average user. Not that it is very hard to understand or use, but rather clunky and more of a hassle than something that truly helps out. There just wasn’t incentive enough for the user.
No more, potentially at least, because now Facebook is an OpenID relying partner. That means that you can use your Gmail account to login to Facebook, once you have authenticated it, and that in turn means that when you’re logged in to Facebook you’re also logged in to every site using Facebook Connect.
You might not have noticed, but there is a silent war going on, and it is all about how you will engage with other people on websites. Facebook Connect has gotten a lot of press, and with Twitter’s new OAuth functionality, we’re looking at Twitter Connect too. On the sidelines we find OpenID, which is still too bulky but might just get there, and Google Friend Connect. The latter pops up here and there as a widget mostly, but so far without the thunder of its Facebook equivalent. Well, that’s not quite right, they don’t really do the same thing since GFC is more of a widgety thing that adds functionality, whereas FC is an actual login method, but nevertheless they are competing in the same space. read more
OpenID is a great idea: One login using a trusted provider that works across the web. The problem is that it is still a clunky experience. Facebook Connect does the same thing, but ridiculously simple. That’s why we should all rejoice as the news that Facebook is joining the OpenID Foundation board hits us! Although they have yet to announce actual support for OpenID login, the knowledge they bring is important, and it is a sign of things to come. I’m pretty sure Facebook will be an OpenID provider soon enough, hopefully by making everything a lot simpler for the users. That will benefit all, not just the evil social network that can’t stop growing. If you disagree, do check out this ReadWriteWeb post.
Chances are you’ll be logging in using Facebook Connect powered by OpenID when you publish your Blog Herald praise comments in the future. Or a Google similar branded OpenID-thingy. That is a good thing, no matter what logo you slap on it. More over at Techmeme.