We have always been a huge proponent of Identity 2.0 with the hope that OpenID would emerge as the standard for single sign-in solutions. The last few weeks of announcements have proven this to be a reality. Technorati, Microsoft, AOL and most recently, digg and Netvibes have all vowed to support the OpenID standard in their upcoming releases. Even Mike Arrington himself admitted, “It’s definitely time to declare OpenID a winner and the hope for a single-sign on world a reality.” Wide acceptance such as this means that it is safe for companies like us to start implementing OpenID into all of our web apps.

OpenID isn’t perfect and still has some phishing vulnerabilities to work out. However, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. Offering single sign-in functionality on a website will lower the barrier to website membership and therefore increase member join conversions. It will also play a role in promoting return visitors. Wouldn’t you rather use a social networking or bookmarking website that supports a single sign-in?

Most importantly, the potential interaction with cross website information sharing is limitless. With users’ permission, OpenID will allow you to mashup the user profile data from other websites to create a richer and more customized experience. In the future, you may be able to use your amazon recommendations to filter a search at books.google.com and find the most appropriate and least expensive book based on your personal taste. Imagine having access to all of your attention and preference data. It would (will be?) recommendation based decision making heaven.

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