Your blog is your OpenID

As of this morning's Journals update, you now have a couple of new choices to use for your OpenID:
- or -

When would you want to use one of these instead of http://openid.aol.com/screenname?  It depends on what you're doing.  If you're leaving a comment over on a LiveJournal, you may want to point back at your blog so they can come and comment on yours.  This lets you do that in a verified way.  If you have more than one blog, the first URL gives a synopsis of all your blogs, and you may want to hand that out instead.  These are for experimentation only at this point and may change, so please don't use one of these for a permanent identity quite yet.  They both delegate to http://openid.aol.com/screenname so all three are effectively transparent aliases of each other.  Which one you use is up to you.

Another subtle change:  When someone comments on your blog, their screen name now links to a search for their AOL Journals.  So when you click on their signature, you can get to their list of blogs if they have any.  This makes it slightly easier to go back and comment on their blog.

We're also experimenting with hCard support.  The signatures on entries are marked up so that hCard processors will pick up on the fact that they name a person that has a URL -- and that URL is an OpenID.  We don't do this for comments yet.  I think we'd want to give commenters control over how much information gets published about them.  Combining this with OpenID opens some very interesting possibilities.  People who opt in would be able to verifiably link their comments across OpenID-enabled sites, automatically track responses to their comments, or find other people who write similar comments.  And a lot more things I haven't thought of.


  1. AOL needs to decide on, and pick, one ID.  As an identity provider we should be reducing confusion, not increasing it.

    Maybe the one ID we pick is a "landing" page that each user customizes to "advertise" the AOL features they want to tell people about.  Instead of forcing them to use their one of their AOLJournals or Pictures pages.

  2. shadow: I think we should let the user pick what they want to do (while providing a good default that works for most people).  I don't think we want to force you to go customize yet another page.  And I don't think people want to  advertise AOL features; they more likely want to advertise themselves.  Maybe we should let people set up their ID page so that it will redirect wherever they want, including off to their MySpace page, as long as we can verify that they own that other page.  Why not?

    But that's exactly why these are experimental features; play around with them and let us know what you think.  Is it useful to be able to pick from multiple identities depending on what you're doing?  For example if you have a professional profile and also a personal blog (nothing that's secret, just separate from work)?


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