Yahoo continues to make strides to improve its OpenID implementation. Thursday it announced limited testing for Simple Registration, which supplies profile data once a user logs in with their Yahoo OpenID. Currently it is only testing Plaxo and Jyte.
The experience logging in with Jyte is remarkable. It only takes a few clicks and I’m started using the site. It receives my preferred nickname from Yahoo, so I’m not even asked to fill in anything else.
Plaxo, on the other hand, requires a process that feels like signing up. Requiring info after signing in with OpenID makes moot one of the best things about OpenID for website owners. You can lower the barrier to entry for users by letting them use the site as soon as they arrive from their provider.
To that end, Simple Registration should be able to help solve the double signup issue, assuming sites treat the process like Jyte and not like Plaxo. Other OpenID providers have been sharing user’s profile information, with permission, for some time.
This part of OpenID is important, and it’s good to see one of the big boys on board. Still, it’ll be hard to say OpenID has really made it until I can sign on to Yahoo with any OpenID.
When Netflix released its API, I said the coolest thing was that it gave developers access to a database of movies and actors. It also uses OAuth to let third parties create applications that build off of a user’s account.
Plaxo has done just that, by adding ratings integration into its Pulse social network. When you add it to your Pulse account, you are taken to Netflix to login, so Plaxo doesn’t get your login details. Then you choose which of your Pulse contact groups you want to give access. You can just make the ratings public, but then we’ll know your affinity for Harold and Maude (and I totally get it).
The Plaxo team got this Netflix integration done fast, which Plaxo credits to the way Netflix created the API:
“Netflix chose to build it with existing, open standards. Specifically, they’re using OAuth to let users grant Plaxo access to their non-public data, and they’re using protected ATOM feeds for the ratings (along with RESTful APIs for getting additional data). Since Plaxo already knows how to crawl ATOM feeds, and we already know how to take users through the OAuth flow, it was trivial for us for hook this all up.”
This is good stuff from Plaxo, too, which has a bit of a reputation to get over. Now attempting to be known for openness, to many Plaxo is still seen as a spammer due to emails that made us update our friends’ address books.
There are probably many who wouldn’t join Plaxo, let alone give it access to their Netflix queue, but for those willing to give them a shot, it looks like the sort of place where you’ll see fun new features sooner than later.