Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blogger and OpenID

The comments on Blogger have changed recently, making it harder for bloggers without a Google/Blogger account to leave a link to their blog. Before they could select the 'Other' option and leave their name and link. Now, there's just a 'Nickname' option with nowhere to put the link in. Yesterday, I read on LadyBanana that there is a fix for this:
I have just set up the facility on this blog for commenters to sign in using not only their Google/Blogger account but also their own sign in from Wordpress, Aol/Aim, LiveJournal, Typekey or any OpenID.

This option is currently only possible to set up through Blogger in Draft

I'm not sure exactly what Blogger in Draft is, and that's a question for another day, but I went in and set it up. It looks just like your regular Dashboard. Go to Settings - Comments, and you have these options, allow comments from:
  • Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
  • Registered Users - includes OpenID
  • Users with Google Accounts
  • Only members of this blog
Select 'Anyone' and save your settings. Now, you should have a drop-down box for comments that lets people sign in with a Blogger/Google ID, or Wordpress, Aol/Aim, LiveJournal, Typekey or any OpenID. Please note that, if you edit your comment settings in your regular Dashboard after doing this, the drop-down box will go away and you will have to edit again in Blogger Draft.

I thought that would solve things and let people go back to commenting and linking back to their blogs all in one step. That works fine for people with blogs on those services, but what about the ones with their own domains and their blogs hosted elsewhere? What exactly is this OpenID, and can that solve the problem? I started looking and found this list that says, if you use one of these services, then you already have an OpenID. Some of them are already on the drop-down list for comments, so it looks like Blogger has taken some of them and made it easier to sign in with that ID. For instance, instead of typing in: username.livejournal.com, a LiveJournal user can simply select 'LiveJournal' in the comment drop-down and type in their username. Once their comment is submitted, the username will link to their LiveJournal blog.

My question is still - what about those who have blogs hosted elsewhere? If they're not on the list? One option, if they have a Technorati account, is to choose 'any OpenID' and type in: technorati.com/people/technorati/username - This will leave a link to their Technorati profile, which isn't bad. From there, anyone who is interested can find all of their blogs.

Still, I'm not sure that's the best answer, either. I ended up signing up for ClaimID - a free, easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID. There I found an option for setting up your blog or website as an OpenID. I'm not sure if you can view this page without having an account and being signed in, so I'm going to quote it here:

How do I delegate my OpenID...

With OpenID, you can easily set your webpage or blog up as an identity URL using delegation. For example, say your blog is "myblog.com", and you'd like to use this URL as your OpenID rather than your claimID URL (we promise not to be too offended). By inserting a little bit of code into your blog or website, you can easily make this blog or website your OpenID.

Rather than logging in with http://claimID.com/username, you'd log in with http://myblog.com. Of course, claimID will still be providing the backend (no need for you to install your own OpenID server!) so you'll be asked for your password by claimID. However, when you show up as a commenter on a Livejournal thread, for example, your blog or website will be your OpenID url.

To set your blog or website up as a delegate, simply add this snippet of code into the of your page. It will need to go between the and elements on the page.

Brilliant! And now you can log into all of the great OpenID sites with your blog or webpage.

Of course, your code will have your username. ClaimID generates it for you. I had to add some extra spaces in the code for Blogger to accept it in a post, but you get the idea.

Hopefully this has given you a few options for commenting on Blogger and being able to link back to your blog. Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll see if I can find the answers.


Anonymous said...

Just trying out an OpenID comment with blogger for the first time...

Nursing Home said...

I just found your blog and want to say thank you! What an enjoyable time looking
through so many blogs. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...
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