Besides facilitating at the Online Community Unconference last week I also lead a session about. OpenID and the potential for persistent Identity. I asked the audience what they wanted to know about – 1/2 had heard of OpenID and wanted to explore what it would mean to adopt it. Another 1/2 wanted the basics of how it worked – so we started with that on the whiteboard.
I began talking about identifier options – second or third level domains for URL’s and top level or second level domains for i-names (XRI). We talked about how in each case there is one you pay for and one you don’t but then are beholden to the site you get your delegated name from. Then I introduced the Relying Party where the user presents their identifier to login. The RP has the code to figure out where to redirect the user to their OpenID Provider or host….the user is prompted to authenticate and if successful redirected back to the RP. We did not get into the phishing hole really at all. Once this was clear we moved into a circle and talked about more of the issues involved. Thomas Kriese from the Omidyar Network continued the next session about how community managers should share reputation.
There was also a session about Keeping the Party Rolling that had a lot of resonance with creating good face-to-face meetings but also has something to do with why user-centric Identity is cool. It keeps things moving smoothly on the web.