Next WordPress Update: OpenID Enabled

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With 37signals welcoming Backpack into the Open Bar last night, I started thinking: embracing OpenID would be the next and smartest step for WordPress to make. Here’s why.

  1. OpenID makes things nice and easy. Granted, it’s scary because still few know about it. But once you do—such as in the case of many 37signals’ customers—you’ll never look back.
  2. People run many installations of WordPress. I personally have four blogs to my name. Some have more. What if each could be run by the same user name and password? Not only that, but what if the blogs that WordPress users only contribute to also had that capability? Using WordPress would be that much easier. And cooler.
  3. OpenID is a great crowd to be running in. In other words, good company. And a good overall statement to make: embracing the future and the best of technology. A large reason why 37signals joined the party was because they wanted to be known as “that kind of company.” Is that such a bad thing?
  4. It would bring in a huge number of new users to OpenID. Maybe this should be the first reason. Imagine if, in the next update to WordPress, each user had the ability to set up an OpenID within one or two clicks of their account page? I think it would add such a huge and valuable number of users to OpenID.
  5. Dare I say it—a Word Bar? 37signals used OpenID to enable seamless transition between almost all of their web applications. Of course it may be out of the realm of possibility for WordPress, but something akin to it may be possible. Just imagine what the WordPress community of developers could do with OpenID ammo in WordPress. The possibilities are…mind blowing.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like a really smart decision. I would be curious to find out if there has been any talk about this move among the decision-makers. Here’s a better question: did it come up at WordCamp? Did anyone go that could fill me in? I’d be very interested in any thoughts/input on this topic.

And Matt, if you’re listening—whatcha’ think?

4 thoughts on “Next WordPress Update: OpenID Enabled

  1. I don’t think it came up at WordCamp. The WordPress.com service is an OpenID provider (but not consumer). So there’s over one million OpenID users. There are plugins for OpenID consuming in WordPress (self-hosted). That’s something that might be considered for core. OpenID providing is probably out … running that on your local server is a big security problem. But if WordPress supported OpenID for commenting (maybe even requiring it as an alternative to registered comments), that could help drive OpenID adoption. And WordPress could certainly put in the pointers (openid.server, openid.delegate) so that you could free to use your blog’s URL as your OpenID.

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