Archive for Tag ‘openID‘

Community versus Commerce: MySears or Yours?

I was excited last month to see a blog post on ReadWriteWeb about Sears and Kmart adopting OpenID. In that post, Frederic Lardinois writes:

Users on Kmart’s and Sears’ web properties can now use their OpenID credentials to sign up and log in to these sites. MyKmart.com and MySears.com, which are both owned by the Sears Holding Company, implemented technology from Viewpoint and JanRain to allow users to use their login credentials from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google, Yahoo, AOL, and Windows Live, as well as from any other OpenID provider. This marks one of the first times that such a large, mainstream online retailer has adopted OpenID.

As Sears points out in its press release, it simply makes good business sense for the company to allow its users to use their social IDs to log in to its properties. After all, not having to sign up for yet another new account on yet another site greatly reduces the likelihood that a potential customer would just abandon the process and head to a competitor’s site.

I’m a huge supporter of OpenID – and identity portability generally – and would absolutely agree that it makes good business sense to lower the barrier of entry for new registrations, in order to encourage more reviews, comments, questions, and ultimately purchases from end users.

But what exactly is Sears letting you sign in to?

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Weaving Identity into the Browser

(via Dion Almaer and ReadWriteWeb)

Mozilla Labs posted a screencast yesterday of a new feature as part of the Weave project, which enables OpenID at the browser level, which will have potentially significant impact on adoption and use of portable identity technology.

Mozilla Weave Logo Weave is a Mozilla Labs project, started back in December of 2007, which (before this latest announcement) was mostly known for their Sync service, which can synchonize (and keep in sync over time) bookmarks, saved passwords, browsing history, and tabs, keeping your firefox browser experience consistent across multiple computers. It’s quite useful for those of us who have a work desktop, home desktop, and laptop, or some other combination of multiple computers regularly used.

This new effort, however, integrates OpenID into the Firefox user experience:

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Get Your OpenID On

OpenIDPayPalFacebook

Two quick announcements this week which bode well for OpenID:

  1. PayPal joins the OpenID Foundation
  2. Facebook joins the OpenID Foundation

It’s fantastic to see the largest and fastest growing social network (in the US anyway) and a major online payment provider both joining the momentum behind the open stack and the assembled web.

See also:

Hybrid: Plaxo and Google collaborate on improved OpenID and OAuth user experience

Hybrid (photo by Burning Image)

Hybrid (photo by Burning Image)

Late last week, Plaxo and Google unveiled an implementation – currently in limited testing mode – of OpenID and OAuth working together to create an improved user experience. In essence, the implementation affects Gmail users receiving invites to join Plaxo Pulse. They call this a “hybrid approach” and I think it will have a significant impact as it significantly simplifies the flow.

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Online Identity Management

Since the early 1990s, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of online identity management: what it means to have an identity online, what stays consistent with the offline world, what becomes more fluid, and what becomes more fixed.

It’s a very vibrant space right now, with commercial vendors, open source projects, trends, and standards all vying for attention. I’m thinking here of a couple of overlapping categories:

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