RANT: OpenID Is The Next BetaMax, Firewire

It’s been nearly five frickin’ years since OpenID has been thrust into the wild, and where the heck are we with that dream of having unified logins? Nowhere. MyOpenID lists 239 sites that accept OpenID logins, 4 of which you may or may not care about. In addition, there’s three other sites I know of that aren’t listed there. So let’s step back and think about this. Over one hundred million websites, tens of millions have a login feature, and only 246 sites accepting OpenID logins after five years? This is not progress. Year one progress, maybe. But not after five years.

  • Fox News: The most notorious news outlet for being anything but fair, balanced, and news, actually gets it when it comes to OpenID? No, not really. They only accept OpenIDs from select providers.
  • MapQuest: Um, what is the point of logging in? Saving your home address? If you need directions frequently enough, chances are you have a GPS device like a mobile phone, TomTom, Garmin, etc., that will be far more convenient. Still, OpenID logins are accepted.
  • LiveJournal: Ugh, the home of the friends-only blogs. I’ll give credit for supporting OpenID from the beginning, but it’s been for posting comments only.
  • MovableType: Like LiveJournal minus “support from beginning” and “friends-only blogs.”
  • Facebook: You can actually completely log in using an OpenID provider! Yay! But the provider has to support OpenID 2.0. Boo!
  • Blogspot: Same as MoveableType.
  • TypePad: Same as Facebook, without the OpenID 2.0 requirement.

But BrainwreckedTech! What about all those shiny logos from the big names like Google, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, MySpace, and even WordPress?

SURPRISE!
PROVIDER ONLY!

Of course, it comes back to simple greed. Everyone wants the data that comes with being a provider, and accepting OpenID logins gives up that data. That explains commercial interest. But WordPresss? I can’t explain that one away.