What is OpenID?
OpenID is a simple standard that allows you to log on to multiple sites and services using one identity that follows you around the Internet. The idea is twofold:
1. You only have to remember one username and password.
2. Anyone clicking on your identity will be brought back to your central profile, so you only have one set of information to maintain.
Identity is becoming an issue – note that Windows Vista has an incorporated identity server called CardSpace, which will support OpenID in future versions.
OpenID is an open standard – which means it’s transparent, if you’re interested you can see how it works, and anybody can implement it. That will help drive adoption, and with companies like Verisign, Microsoft, Six Apart and more behind it, the smart money is on it surviving as an identity standard.
Why is Explode important?
Most OpenID providers give you a bare profile. You sign up, and provide some basic information that you’ve probably given a hundred times before, and then when people click back to your central profile they just see that bare site.
When you sign up with Explode, you dictate your interests – so people can find you – and the URL of a site you already have. That might be your own blog, a MySpace profile, a profile here on Elgg.net, or anything else on the Internet with a public web address. That’s what then gets linked to your OpenID.
So now when you use your OpenID anywhere on the Internet, people can click on your profile and see the page you’d really like to represent you.
There’s much more to come. Watch this space!