When it comes to Eugene these days, most people think football. But if Oregon alum Mike Jones has his way, successful startups may soon be part of the University of Oregon folklore, as well. Read More
Portland-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.
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.
Portland-based SplashCast, a service that has become one of the entertainment industry’s favorite ways to create immersive advertisements for social networks and Web sites, has finally gone Hollywood by luring a MySpace executive to the company.
Today, SplashCast announced the launch of its Los Angeles office with the hiring of Tim Lane from MySpace—not to be confused with Tom from MySpace, who is everybody’s friend.
According to the release, the hiring and expansion was sparked by the traction the company has seen in the entertainment industry, especially with regards to MySpace where SplashCast currently owns the lion’s share of top music apps:
SplashCast’s Los Angeles-based office will open later this summer. This expansion reflects the company’s recent successes in helping major brands reach social network site users. According to statistics presented on the MySpace music application directory more SplashCast music applications in general have been shared and installed on individual MySpace pages than any other artist-specific applications across the entire MySpace application platform.
As far as Lane’s role goes, he will be heading up the SplashCast sales team and helping manage the company’s continued—and apparently aggressive—expansion plans. Which will likely be fueled by SplashCast’s funding, announced earlier this year:
Lane will be responsible for managing SplashCast’s sales team based out of the company’s new Los Angeles sales office scheduled to open later this summer. In his new position, Lane will be responsible for managing SplashCast’s US based sales team out of the company’s new Los Angeles office and opening offices throughout New York, Chicago and San Francisco within the coming months.
Given this continued interaction with companies outside of Portland, one would begin to wonder if SplashCast was long for our Portland climes.
Well, okay, I wonder.
Not that it completely allays my fears, but one thing that might point to them sticking around Portland is the fact that they’ve recently graduated from the Portland State Business Accelerator to their own digs in Old Town.
Time will tell if the draw to a more big-media hub is in the works, or if the LA office will simply remain a satellite for this Portland-based company.
For more information on SplashCast, see the SplashCast release on the expansion and the new hire.
Mashable‘s Kristen Nicole is reporting that Portland-based SplashCast has jumped on the MySpace application platform making them one of the first applications to enter this new bastion of social network media.
According to Mashable:
Now that the MySpace platform has finally launched its first approved applications, Splashcast was ready with a distributed plan to roll out applications for its clients across the MySpace network as well. This includes SonyBMG, Universal Records, Warner, and even Hillary Clinton.
In my opinion, one of the most compelling aspects of the SplashCast approach to this new platform is the way that the SplashCast application appears as the artist, not SplashCast. See, for example, the Chris Brown splashcast on the early list of MySpace music apps.
This approach has two particular benefits. First, it gives SplashCast the opportunity to create innumerable instances of its applications where other apps are stuck with one specific instance. And second, it gives SplashCast the opportunity to curry further favor with the labels and artists, by highlighting the artist instead of the application delivering the artist’s content.
Given the prevailing MySpace demographic and SplashCast’s recent repositioning as “the deepest, most sticky relationship between [sic] brand, content, and consumer,” this move promises to solidify SplashCast’s position as a big-media-company tool with a flare for interacting with youth on the Web.
Given the pageviews that MySpace continues to garner, the property remains a leading venue for many. As such, the new MySpace application platform has launched with a full cadre of applications in the offing.
For an overview of the new platform, I would highly recommend Portland-based Marshall Kirkpatrick’s write-up for ReadWrite Web, which focuses on the win for OpenSocial applications:
MySpace users are going to be happy to share their contacts and info from other applications off-site with apps on the MySpace platform because they’ll be able to do so securely. MySpace is about to become the biggest use-case of the oAuth authentication protocol, something many sites are scrambling to implement.
I’m not tracking any blog posts or press releases from SplashCast, yet. Should more relevant information become available I will post an update. In the meantime, please stay tuned to SplashCast for more information as it becomes available.