When I investigated OpenID for the first time, I thought it was a good idea, but not sufficient to solve the problem of online identity management from the standpoint of a single person with identities at many, many web sites.
But what if we narrowed the scope? Instead of asking whether OpenID could be an identity solution for all sites, maybe it could do the job for some segment of web sites. For example, could OpenID be a solution for social identity management? I don’t know about you, but I’m part of four social networks (Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook), though am active on only two (LinkedIn and Facebook). Certainly there are more social networks out there, and certainly there are many people who are an active part of all of them. I’m sure those people would love it if maintaining their profiles was as simple as making a single update.
Of course this raises another issue: privacy. Some people maintain a professional profile in some networks, and a more social profile on others. To have one social identity would mean that users would need the ability to manage access control of profile information as well as application information. This could definitely be handled technically, but by whom? This is probably going to be the topic of another post.