oAuth

With Facebook joining the OpenID Foundation, and more and more websites integrating their services with other third-party websites via oAuth and OpenID, its quite obvious the future of the web is relying on these authorization technologies to provide a fluid end user experience. However, in order to understand exactly how this will impact end users, site owners, and content creators, first we have to explore exactly what these technologies do.

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The password has truly become the bane of most Internet users. It's been that way since ... well, since Web sites required you to log into them with a user name and password. Just think of how many passwords you have. It's probably more than a couple. Keeping track of them can be an almost impossible chore.

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OAuth: Pros and Cons of OAuth

February 10, 2011

Imagine if every time you met someone new in life you needed to first tell them not only your name, but also your age, email, phone number, name of your first pet, and were then told to say some secret word that you’re not allowed to tell any of your other friends. Crazy, right? This is the current state of the digital age though, with information swirling around the globe in seconds using advanced technology, yet remaining oddly restricted and primitive at times. OAuth aims to change all of that.

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The social graph. No other concept has so fluidly permeated the vernacular that it’s tough to decide which accolade Mark Zuckerberg will be remembered for first: founding the largest ‘social graph’ in the world or coining the term. The term, graphically represented by a sociogram, is applied to an abstract concept which maps and illustrates online connections and it’s a powerful tool that is used to great effect. Yet despite its assured potential, the social graph does have an Achilles Heel: portability.

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OpenID: Pro’s and Con’s

January 17, 2011

Just five years ago, the Internet was ripe to expose a perfect concoction of interactive design coupled with applications catering to the user experience. More people were discovering information, participating in discussions, sharing content and purchasing.  Yet just as we welcomed in the age of Web 2.0, there was something missing for the average user: a means of accessing the growing numbers of sites easily and securely.

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From time to time, you hear about new social networking sites cropping up, trying to be the Facebook-killer—the new, all-encompassing social network that promises to connect us to all our friends (and brands) in new and mind-blowing ways. But basically anything since the demise of MySpace has failed (Google Buzz, I’m looking in your direction). The fact of the matter is that 5 years ago, social networking was new, and only the most web savvy individuals saw any value in it. So we all messed around with a bunch of different platforms—Friendster, MySpace, Bebo, and others. But by the time we all figured out that MySpace had basically turned into a trashy hook-up spot for 14-year-olds with daddy issues, Facebook came along with its clean UI and easy-to-navigate profiles. And we were all hooked.

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Imagine a single card in your nice slim wallet with a single PIN or password that is connected to all of these other cards: credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, store cards, club membership cards, etc etc. sitting at home in that fat bulging creaking old wallet. And now imagine that this one card can link up with your friends or work colleagues (if you want it to) and they can keep up to date with what you’re doing wherever you (and they) are.

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Have you ever wondered if Single Sign On (SSO) is right for your website? Can it be adapted for your specific needs? Will it increase user-friendliness without compromising privacy and security? Let’s see if we can sort it all out together.

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