I believe OpenID is turning the corner into the ‘mainstream’. More importantly, I believe the “Open Stack” is starting to blossom here at MySpace!
[Photo Credit: John McCrea]
While I’ve been intrigued with OpenID since I first saw it added to LiveJournal in 2005, I never quite knew how it would “cross-over” into the mass adoption. I was always concerned by the obvious problem I refer to as the OpenID ‘chicken-or-the-egg’ problem (a.k.a. ‘provider-or-the-consumer’). Obviously, the correct answer – strive to be both!
Let me be the first to probably say it out loud in plain English – it’s often feels easier for the businesses implementing OpenID to start by being a provider.
This is based on two things:
- Companies are just evolving from the former Internet era where we had ‘My Network and your Network versus their Network’ – now we are quickly moving into the ‘Cloud’. We are seeing network walls and walled gardens begin to open
- Most companies believe their brand is the strongest with the largest reach therefore it’s best to be the provider. This is perfectly ok at this stage because there will be, when it makes sense, a natural distribution of consumers, providers, and both. As OpenID becomes mainstream we will see sites use OpenID with the methods that fit their particular business needs.
OpenID and OAuth are not only evolving in code, but also in User Experience (a.k.a. ease of use). Thanks to Yahoo, Google, Plaxo, and many others (including our very own Max Engel) there was major progress on the cognitive usage patterns of using OpenID and OAuth. Yahoo hosted the OpenID/OAuth UX Summit last week at their main campus - Thank you Yahoo!
You can also watch the recap of the live blogging during the "OpenID / OAuth UX Summit"
John McCrea, the author of the live blog above, works at Plaxo, helping to pioneer “Open Stack” thru his work co-authoring the Portable Contacts specification, and co-hosts a technology show -- thesocialweb.tv.
John was also a guest journalist on TechCrunch this week.
You can read his GREAT post here
You can also watch “TheSocialWeb” TV episode about the UX Summit below
Please make sure you read the two OpenID Usability Studies from Yahoo and Google.
This week Chris Messina (also a co-host on thesocialweb.tv) was the first to notice the progress MySpace is making on our own implementation of OpenID.
As we approach the 1st Birthday of OpenSocial it’s important to reflect on all the progress and excitement I’ve seen at MySpace to make sure we provide our large platform to help not only our users, but the developer community to evolve our platform. MySpace is using it’s stable of “Open Stack” technologies including OpenSocial, OAuth, OpenID, Microformats (including XFN), XDRS, Portable Contacts to build a robust Developer Platform that extends our “social affiliation” to 3rd party sites using Data Availability.
You can see blog post David Recordon (also a co-host of thesocialweb.tv) made on September 27th, 2008 One of these isn't quite like the others... that many companies are adopting the "Open Stack". From reading's John McCrea's TechCrunch article you can also see that progress is being made between "Open Stack" participants and those building a simlary but proprietary stack.
[Image Credit: David Recordon]
The most exciting part for me is seeing several companies trying similar concepts some in agreement and some in contrast, but knowing together we are advancing the over all social web
In my personal opinion, I believe we need to work hard to make sure it continues to get easier to program the web. We have a chance to make sure there isn’t a huge switching cost in social and cloud computing. I’m constantly amazed at the level of collaboration going to advance this cause - TOGETHER!