Blogger.com now supports OpenID on its beta site. I have to congratulate the blogger.com team on the user experience they've created. This is not necessarily their final kick-at-the-can, but I like what they've done so far.
Blog owners have a simple radio-button selection to determine who can comment:
From then on, when someone visits the blog as a user and wants to make a comment, they are given the choice of how to identify themself. Choose “Any OpenID” and you are given the chance to enter one. Click on that, and you are redirected to your OpenID provider.
Here's what it looked like for me. I wanted to congratulate the team for their great work, so I filled out a comment form like this:
Then I pressed “Publish Your Comment” and got this:
That's because I use myopenid.com, which for me is phishproof because of its great Information Card support (in other words, no password is involved and no credential can be stolen).
That's it folks. I pressed send and got:
Why is this implementation so good? Because it doesn't torment you, doesn't make you set up an account, doesn't make you create a password you don't need, and doesn't nag you to join Blogger when that isn't in the cards. And it puts full control over the kinds of credentials to accept into the hands of the bloggers themselves.
This is the kind of experience I have envisaged and have been waiting for. I think it is a sign of things to come, since many other sites are looking at the same concepts. There is going to be a “conflagration” when people start to “get it”. Just look at the comments. There could be a lot of people who do join Blogger just because they've been handed a carrot, not given the stick.
One last aside on the low-friction thing. Once I've gone through the dance above, I can continue to post at Blogger.com and all other sites with which I've established relationships – without further authentication. That is very powerful.