Identity and OpenId

It all started last week when I read an article on Vitamin about the launch of ClickPass at SxSW. I’d noticed OpenID before, mainly on the Ma.gnolia login page, but I never really saw a reason to get one for a single site. Today, I finally decided to check it out.

I started at ClickPass, which lead me to OpenID.net, which listed a page containing all of the OpenIds that I already have. Not really wanting to tie myself to a particular web app, I choose myOpenID because I liked the logo. I quickly created an account, then noticed that you could get a myOpenID for a domain, since I own delabar.org, openid.delabar.org was born. After some quick configuration, I had my open personal OpenID that was easy for me to remember and ready to use. Very cool.

Looking into the topic further, I found Sam Ruby’s instructions for setting up OpenId without using a service, interesting from a privacy perspective since you’re in complete control of your information, but at the same time you lose the third party verifying your identity. Leaving that debate for another day, the best part of the post was the first section where Sam talks about using delegation to claim your blog. With a simple block of code in your html head, something like the following, you can use your blog as your OpenID.

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<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server" />
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://openid.delabar.org/eric" />

Using this quick test I verified this, and I can now use my blog URL as my OpenID. Now, what is my reason for doing that? I really don’t have one, since I’m already using my own domain as my OpenID. However, if I was using some other OpenID, like my Flickr URL for example, I would have a level of redirection that would allow me to swap Flickr out for Technorati without having to go and re-authenticate at all of my sites that use OpenID. Now, let’s bring in the Social Graph, a quick bit of XFN code in my link above, and now my OpenID identification page is part of my social graph.

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