Managing the login credentials for every web site or service you sign up for tends to be a daunting task. Remember your username is "somewhatfrank" on service A ,"franky-baby" on service B and "frankyhollywood" on service C can be somewhat troublesome. After exploring its options, AOL has decided to address the problem and support the movement to decentralize online identity by enabling anyone with an AOL or AIM screen-name to integrate with OpenID. OpenID is:
"OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity."
The AOL move is a huge show of support for the OpenID movement as the de facto standard in user credential interoperability as it has instantly added an estimated 63 million users to the OpenID system. AOL colleague, John Panzer was one of a few instrumental in the movement to adopt OpenID at AOL and expressed his views in the blogosphere and explains what adopting OpenID does for AOL users today by saying:
- Every AOL/AIM user now has at least one OpenID URI, http://openid.aol.com/<sn>.
- This experimental OpenID 1.1 Provider service is available now and we are conducting compatibility tests.
- We're working with OpenID relying parties to resolve compatibility issues.
- Our blogging platform has enabled basic OpenID 1.1 in beta, so every beta blog URI is also a basic OpenID identifier. (No Yadis yet.)
- We don't yet accept OpenID identities within our products as
a relying party, but we're actively working on it. That roll-out is
likely to be gradual.
- We are tracking the OpenID 2.0 standardization effort and plan to support it after it becomes final.
So if you have an AOL or AIM screen-name, your OpenID profile is linked to your AIM Pages profile at:
OpenID.aol.com/<enter your AOL screen-name here>
Obviously this process did not happen overnight and additional integration work will continue at AOL but nonetheless it is great to see AOL taking a leadership role in helping to solve online identity issues by supporting the OpenID movement.
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