Saturday, March 17, 2007

OpenID, Jyte, and good-heartedness

If you don't know what OpenID is, I predict that you will by this time next year. If you don't have an OpenID, you will have someday (or an identity protocol that federates with OpenID), I am sure.

OpenID is not a new concept. It allows you to have one identifier (like you usually have a username), and a single password. You can use your identifier, in any site that supports OpenID (they are rapidly increasing in number). However, you will only ever need to enter your password once... on the site that provides you with your OpenID.

Yes, that's right. You can now log into sites without using a password. I have edited a couple of wikis using my OpenID only, and I can't wait until I can do the same with forums, and blog comments.

Your OpenID provider holds your data, and they allow you to control which sites you log into can see what parts of your data.

How does it work? Well, in brief... you use your OpenID to log into a site. To make sure that you are the owner of the OpenID, the site checks with the OpenID provider. If you are already logged into to the provider, then the site will log you straight in. If you are not logged in yet, you will be redirected to your provider's site, to enter your password and log in. The site you are using your OpenID on NEVER sees your password!

Another great thing about OpenID is something called 'delegation'. I'll be the example here. My OpenID is: However I have edited my blog so that it will redirect to when used as an OpenID. The result? Now I can log into OpenID sites using my blog URL! I can do this with any URL in my control.

The best thing is, it is an open protocol!

Read more about OpenID:


Jyte is a relatively popular Web 2.0 app that relies on OpenID, it is impossible to use the site without one.

Jyte allows you to both post, and vote on, 'claims'. A claim can be anything, for example "I like strawberries!". If someone does indeed like strawberries, they can agree. If they do not, they disagree. It is also possible to make claims about people (using their OpenID) and to relate your claim to other claims. As with any Web 2.0 application... it also has tags.

It's a simple idea, but works well, and is highly addictive. Be warned.


PS. Incidentally: