Why Your Social Website Should Support OpenID

On Twitter I bitched about GitHub not supporting OpenID, and both Chris Wanstrath and Giles Bowkett chided me for not making an better argument for it than “it makes my life easier”.  The benefits of OpenID seem self-evident to me; but if I have to spell it out, here goes.

When I go to a site that supports OpenID:


  • I don’t have to spend even a millisecond wondering about how good their password security protocols are. With OpenID, they will never see my password.
  • I don’t have to weigh whether to use one of my standard web passwords.
  • I don’t have to make up a new password and remember to write it down somewhere.
  • I don’t have to use some 3rd-party program or Firefox extension to generate and manage random password, only to be locked out when I have to access the site from a public terminal and my thumbdrive is in my other pants.
  • On many sites, I don’t have to type in my name, email address, and zip code for the hojillionth time, because they are automatically fetched via OpenID.
  • Lastly, if I ever decide that I made the wrong decision about my password policy, I don’t have to remember and revisit the site in order to change my credentials.

In short, OpenID makes my life easier, and therefore I am more inclined to use web apps that support it than those that don’t.