Way back in 2008, I was using Digg a lot. StumbleUpon, too. And more sites started being mentioned as worthwhile social media sites.
Meanwhile, many other sites made you register to read articles and trying to remember your logins for all these sites was nearly impossible. Firefox could remember your passwords, but in 2009, that was found to be rather … insecure, so I moved to a password generator/vault. Later, many sites made it possible to use your Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn profiles to sign in, so no extra set of login credentials was necessary.
But before all that, there was OpenID. I heard about it from fellow Diggers (AdBlock Plus, too, which changed my view of the Internet for a good two to three years). You registered for a login there and many sites across the internet allowed you to use your myOpenID to sign in. It flattened the burgeoning Internet.
I hadn’t used it much in years, having forsaken it for Twitter oAuth or the ease of password vaults. But, still, I was sad to see the news today that myOpenID soon will be no more. I went back on Janrain’s site and found this terrific blog post they had a couple years back on the history of OpenID, which included collaboration with Google, Yahoo! and AOL, among others.
For online businesses, this password fatigue problem has resulted in lost conversions and missed engagement opportunities for years. OpenID was established in 2005 as a grassroots solution to this problem. The notion was that users gain security and convenience when they can access their favorite websites with a single, portable identity, and websites eliminate registration friction and acquire more users as a result.
It was the perfect solution at a time when I had to keep a notebook at home with all my passwords. Yeah, not the most secure. But at least no one could hack into it, right?
OpenID promised to make it so I’d only ever have to remember one password – at a time when that was not even a remote possibility. Fortunately, the possibilities are many today, and now myOpenID as its own, separate ID/login-only platform, is no longer necessary. So even though I didn’t use it much these days, I was still kind of bummed to get this email from Janrain today:
I wanted to reach out personally to let you know that we have made the decision to end of life the myOpenID service. myOpenID will be turned off on February 1, 2014.
In 2006 Janrain created myOpenID to fulfill our vision to make registration and login easier on the web for people. Since that time, social networks and email providers such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo! have embraced open identity standards. And now, billions of people who have created accounts with these services can use their identities to easily register and login to sites across the web in the way myOpenID was
By 2009 it had become obvious that the vast majority of consumers would prefer to utilize an existing identity from a recognized provider rather than create their own myOpenID account. As a result, our business focus changed to address this desire, and we introduced social login technology. While the technology is slightly different from where we were in 2006, I’m confident that we are still delivering on our initial promise – that people should take control of their online identity and are empowered to carry those identities with them as they navigate the web.
For those of you who still actively use myOpenID, I can understand your disappointment to hear this news and apologize if this causes you any inconvenience. To reduce this inconvenience, we are delaying the end of life of the service untilFebruary 1, 2014 to give you time to begin using other identities on those sites where you use myOpenID today.
Speaking on behalf of Janrain, I truly appreciate your past support of myOpenID.
Did you ever use myOpenID?