posted by Kroc Camen on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 19:42 UTC
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Our identities online are becoming ever more valuable to the companies that we entrust them to. What happens though when a company just ups and closes shop (Pownce, for example) and deletes your stuff? Sure, the individual files you'll have on your computer anyway, you won't have lost anything as far as bits and bytes are concerned--but what about friendships you've built up with people who you only know through the service. Your data should be portable so that you can take it to any service and not lose those relationships that you've built up in one walled-garden when it collapses, or you decide to move on. OpenID tries to solve this brand-centric problem by placing you at the centre of your data and allowing the sites you trust access through a single sign-on. OSnews is contemplating implementing OpenID and would like your feedback, but there are a few questions to consider--please read on for details

1. Do you already have an OpenID account?
As a technical audience I generally expect you to know implicitly if you have an OpenID account somewhere. Many of the accounts with other sites you have also operate as OpenID addresses too—such as Google accounts, Yahoo accounts, MySpace, Facebook and more.
2. Do you make use of your OpenID account?
OpenID sign-ons are beginning to appear on more and more sites. Since I’ve become averse to registering yet-one-more-account, I’m open to the idea of sites offering an OpenID sign on.
3. Would you welcome OSnews offering an OpenID login option?
OSnews—being yet one more account—has its fair share of readers who follow the site but do not register. Maybe, offering OpenID would encourage more people to join in the discussions if they didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of registering yet-one-more-account. There has been much complaint about the interface of OpenID being less than smooth (having to navigate through another site to login / overly-complicated login forms with millions buttons for different providers); would OpenID logins on OSnews be a feature you would find advantageous?
4. Should OSnews be an OpenID provider?
You can get an OpenID just about anywhere. Do you think OSnews should also be an OpenID provider, so that your OSnews account would let you sign in on other websites with your own OSnews OpenID address such as ‘id.osnews.com/kroc’ or somesuch. Would you see a need for that, or welcome such a feature?
5. Is owning your own identity important to you?
With most of us leasing our identities out to large data silos elsewhere, does it really matter all that much that you have a single sign-on, or central ‘identity’. Do you fly by night, and prefer having segregated accounts for each kind of activity and location on the Internet you work?
6. What should OSnews let you do with your data?
It’s your text in our database, what should you be allowed to do with it? What about issues of abuse and moderation? How should your account be managed and what controls should you (and others) have? Where should the line be drawn between what is fair and what is required? All very tough questions!

And of course, ‘none of the above’! Do you think it’s a waste of time and you’re quite happy with traditional registration and login? Please weigh in in the comments, thanks.

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