December 2nd, 2008

Birds of an OpenID feather: Vidoop, MySpace, and Flock together


VidoopPortland-based Vidoop has been working on a project they’ve been calling “Identity in the Browser” (IDIB), a means of employing an intelligent browser control that recognizes OpenID enabled sites and allows users to access those sites without having to jump through the often-confusing hurdles of relying party redirects.

Relying party redirects? Who duh how du wha? If you’ve ever used OpenID, you know that there’s a little dance that takes place: you provide your OpenID, the site then redirects you to your OpenID provider to confirm that you are you, you confirm—maybe view some images along the way, and are transported back to the original site to do whatever it is you came to do.

Vidoop (and a number of others) thought it would be easier to skip all of that and let your browser handle some of the heavy lifting.

The concept was solid. And a prototype Firefox extension had been created. But what Vidoop really needed was one of the popular browsers to step up and promote OpenID to its users.

Today, that happened. And how. Vidoop has announced that OpenID for Flock is now available, a joint project among Vidoop, Flock, and a little social network you may have heard of called MySpace.


IDIB OpenID for Flock from phatbuddha on Vimeo.

It’s big news for OpenID and for Vidoop. And a number of people are taking notice:

  • ReadWriteWeb: Vidoop and MySpace Bring OpenID to Flock
    “While OpenID is one of the more interesting online identity concepts, usability issues have clearly hampered its mainstream adoption. Flock, MySpace, and OpenID provider Vidoop have now come together to develop a browser extension for Flock that makes using OpenID a lot easier for Flock users. Besides managing your OpenID credentials, the extension also detects when a site supports OpenID and lets you sign in with the click of a button.”
  • The Social: MySpace helps develop OpenID extension for Flock
    “The OpenID Flock extension allows for easier credential management within the browser and makes it more apparent when a site will accept an OpenID login. A handful of OpenID extensions already exist for the open-source Flock, but this one’s got the seal of approval from some big names.”
  • O’Reilly Radar: Getting OpenID Into the Browser
    “Imagine if your web browser really knew who you were on the web. Just as you login to your computer, what if when you fired up your browser, it said “Hello Dave” and asked you to “unlock it” as well (Chris Messina was quite influential in my thinking about it this way). In doing so you become securely logged into your OpenID provider (or maybe more than one of them) and as you move around the web your browser takes care of automatically logging you into the sites that you want to be, asking you about others, and helping you register with new ones using your OpenID. Argue as much as you want about the details in making this happen, but I think it’s hard to disagree that making it easier for people to manage and use their identity (or identities) online is a bad thing.”
  • ComputerWorld: MySpace, Flock, Vidoop unveil prototype for storing OpenID credentials
    “OpenID for Flock is now available to all users of Flock 2.0 as an alpha extension to the browser. The tool automatically notifies users when they surf to a Web site that supports the OpenID framework. The framework, supported by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., allows people to use a single username and password to enter sites that support it.”
  • CenterNetworks: Flock Partners With MySpace and Vidoop on OpenID Browser
    “Just a month after the public launch of the Flock 2.0 browser, Flock has announced the addition of OpenID to the Flock 2.0 browser today. I’ve been saying for a long time that if OpenID wants to succeed, they have to get it into the browser so when you hit a site that offers OpenID login, it could be as close to seamless as possible.”
  • Mashable: OpenID Management Comes to Flock
    “MySpace, Flock and Vidoop have developed OpenID for Flock. I’ll skip the talk about standards which you don’t care about, cut to the chase and tell you what it does.”
  • Download Squad: MySpace, Flock and Vidoop release OpenID for Flock plugin
    “OpenID is a really great concept. The ability to use a single digital identity across the web and avoid having to sign up for yet another user account is a real productivity boon. More and more high profile sites and services are adopting OpenID, but the project still hasn’t gained the traction that many of us think it deserves. This is partially because it still isn’t easy to use OpenID — or even find out if a site supports OpenID — on all services. MySpace, Flock and Vidoop think they’ve come across a solution: let the browser handle it.”
  • Social Times: MySpace Teams with Flock, Vidoop to Push OpenID
    “MySpace announced its support of OpenID earlier this year, with certain hopes for its potential alongside its own Data Availability initiative. Such an integration makes sense, especially in light of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to become the central platform for online social interaction. So how can MySpace hope to stay ahead? Deeper OpenID integration.”
  • Ars Technica: Flock OpenID support a small step for slow-moving standard
    “The potential of a ubiquitous online login is slowly being realized with emerging identity systems like OpenID. With one username to rule them all and broad industry support from companies like Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, and VeriSign, users may finally be able to simplify their online presence and save a few post-it notes—if OpenID can be made simple and easy to manage for the general consumer. Amid a confusing array of options for creating and using OpenIDs, MySpace and Vidoop have partnered with Flock, the social web browser, to create an open source implementation of OpenID in a browser.”

For more on the the browser extension, see the post on the Flock blog.

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