The dream of being able to sign in to just about any site with the same username and password took a step closer yesterday when Facebook joined the OpenID Foundation.
For me this is a very good thing. Facebook Connect has been out in the market for a month or two now and their intergration with Disqus allows people to leave comments on this blog (and many others) using their Facebook credentials. This simple feature makes the commenting experience quicker and easier for commenters and richer for the rest of us because we can see their Facebook picture.
This is a very small example of the value to be gained by sharing data from one service to another. Marshall Kirkpatrick on ReadWriteWeb does a good job of explaining the benefits of integration like this:
- Both make it easier to participate in new websites because you don’t need to create a new account.
- Both carry payloads of user data that can yield immediate personalization for a richer experience.
- Both offer authentication that you really are who you say you are.
That opens up a whole world of possibilities technically and culturally.
The Disqus example I gave above has all three of these benefits – easier participation via FB logon, and peronalisation and authentication via the picture (in a small way at least).