Does anyone use OpenID anymore?
OpenID is a standard that lets people use one account to login to lots of sites. For example, when they join CrowdVine they can use their OpenID instead of creating yet another password. We added OpenID support to CrowdVine when we launched and then began supporting the second version of the standard last December. It’s part of our philosophy for CrowdVine to augment existing social networks, not replace them. So we need to play well with the rest of your web identities. My personal experience is that OpenID is a big convenience that’s resulted in me spending much less time clicking on “forgot password” links. I would recommend it to any user (see openid.net for getting started).
Despite the benefits and increasing support from major sites, I’ve also heard from friends that they’ve seen OpenID usage drop on their own sites. Our stats are bleak. Usage dropped in our tech conferences and isn’t used at all (as in ever) in our mainstream conferences.
Across all of our networks usage hovers between 1-2%, down from 3-5% in the first half of 2008:
It’s hard to generalize that data because the demographics of CrowdVine users shifted toward the mainstream during that same period. So I broke it down for some conferences where we’ve done multiple events over the course of about 12-18 months.
We did a series of four events for a conference in the tech/marketing sector. This audience tends toward the cutting edge. Here was the adoption over four events:
Tech/Marketing #1: 8%
Tech/Marketing #2: 3%
Tech/Marketing #3: 1%
Tech/Marketing #4: 3%
We did another series of events for the open source conferences. These were software developers who share a philosophy with the people behind OpenID. They’re the only group I could find where the adoption picked up (although the sample size is small):
Open Source #1: 5%
Open Source #2: 2%
Open Source #3: 9%
The above two conference series were the ones I expected to have early adopters. I also looked at a series of events for online marketers. I thought they’d be in the second wave of adopters but they turned out to have almost no OpenID users.
Online Marketing #1: 0.5%
Online Marketing #2: 0.5%
Online Marketing #3: 0%
Online Marketing #4: 0%
Adoption for our doctor, lawyer, scientist and business communities are all under 0.5% and in almost all cases adoption is zero.
So what’s going on? Jay and I were just at a conference session yesterday where we got a long lecture on how opinions are worthless and data is everything. The data here doesn’t look good even though my anecdotal evidence is that OpenID is extremely useful. As I read the data, OpenID is was not very sticky with the early adopters and didn’t make any progress at all with our mainstream networks.