2008: Momentum

Published January 15, 2009
2008 was an awesome year for OpenID where the community created significant momentum moving toward mainstream adoption.  No, not every site on the web is using OpenID nor does every consumer know what OpenID does, but last year alone the number of sites that accept OpenID for sign in more than tripled ((Relying Party Stats as of Jan 1st, 2009)).  Today, there are over thirty-thousand publicly accessible sites supporting OpenID for sign in and well over half a billion OpenID enabled accounts. Indeed, the launch of Facebook Connect – a completely proprietary identity system for the web – in 2008 underscores the importance of open standards-based technologies like OpenID.  Certainly it provides clear motivation to the entire OpenID community to demonstrate the value of decentralization and interoperability with an additional emphasis on usability, security and consumer friendliness. While Facebook Connect continues introducing consumers and companies to the idea of shared sign in and profile exchange, forward-looking social networks like MySpace are now building the same functionality atop OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial and other non-proprietary technologies.  To their credit, Facebook continues to participate in an increasing number of meetups and events around OpenID. Considering all that has been accomplished by the community since OpenID 1.0 first appeared on LiveJournal in 2005, in its short three-year history, OpenID has seen phenomenal adoption by individuals, the open source community, non-profits and companies. 2009 most certainly will see a continuation of that trend, especially as usability, consumer utility and pragmatic solutions become the focus.