I have been trying to understand the thoughts behind OpenID again, and had a hard time doing so. I used it a few times in 2007 and then forgot all about it. What is again the benefit of using a third party identity provider to log into sites?
Of course it gives site owners and readers a good proof of identity, it is supposed to be convenient as you can log into many sites with the same identity (so no need for different passwords), and since it doesn’t hand over passwords it can be considered to lower the risk of identity-theft on those sites.
One can use an own domain (should be easy to remember!) as an username to OpenID, if you add two lines of code to your sites template, redirecting it to an OpenID provider -such as Google, Yahoo, Flickr, WordPress.com etc.
I personally use a password manager, like for example Keepass, and can thus use a lot of different passwords and, if I want, usernames. If a site gets hacked, I will loose just one password to one site.
OpenID gives me the benefit of one username for many sites – it is my userID, so I can always have my own username – but I am not sure if I always want that. I could have different profiles with OpenID, or even different OpenID’s, but that, in the end, beats its purpose.
I don’t like though, that I am sometimes required to log into a site to comment or even to join, using a third party. Without a Facebook account I can’t join Spotify, or comment on TechCrunch. (though I can log in there with Yahoo!, AOL or hotmail – neither of which I use). I would prefer an open ID.
See also: http://twit.tv/twig47