OpenID first impressions

I have been meaning to try OpenID for some time now and I just noticed that they were doing a free TFA (what they call VIP Credentials) thing for mobile devices so I decided to give it a shot.

I picked Verisign’s OpenID offering; in the past I had a certificate (document signing) from Verisign and I liked the whole process so I guess that tipped the scales in Verisign’s favor.

The registration was a piece of cake, downloading the credential generator to my phone and linking it to my account was a breeze. They offer a File Vault (2GB) free with every account (Hey Google, did you hear that?) and I gave that a shot.

I created a second OpenID and linked it to the same mobile credential generator (very cool). Then I figured out what to do if my cell phone (and mobile credential generator were to be lost or misplaced), it was all very easy. Seemed too good to be true!

And, it was.

Facebook allows one to use an external ID for authentication. Go to Account Settings and Linked Accounts and you can setup the linkage. Cool, let’s give that a shot!

Facebook OpenID failure
Facebook OpenID failure

So much for that. I have an OpenID, anyone have a site I could use it on?

Oh yes! I could login to Verisignlabs with my OpenID 🙂


I tried to link my existing “Hacker News” ( account with OpenID and after authenticating with verisign, I got to a page that asked me to enter my HN information which I did.

I ended up with a page: and a single word “Unknown” on the screen.

I’ve got to be doing something wrong. Someone care to tell me how badly messed up I am?

Update (sept 11)

Thanks to help from Gary (who commented on this post), I tried the “linking” on Facebook again and this time it worked a little better.

But, I still have to enter my password when I want to login to facebook. Something is still not working the way it should.

Still the same issue with Hacker News.

4 thoughts on “OpenID first impressions”

  1. By way of introduction I am the technical director for the PIP project here at VeriSign. Can you please contact me on my email so we can discuss? I just tested Hacker News and it worked fine so I’d like to understand how you might be attempting to login.

    Sorry for the hassle – it started out good…:-)


  2. Update (Sept 15)

    Working with Gary and his team I was able to sort this issue out. It was a combination of user error and some other stuff about OpenID that I don’t understand.

    But, now it all just works! I launch a new browser, login to PIP and then in a different tab (Firefox) go to and I am directly logged in.

    Thanks Gary and to the team at Verisign.

    I have worked with Verisign in the past and it has always been a pleasure working with them. A good reason why I am a happy, repeat customer!

    Now, if facebook would just figure out how to do this rationally …


  3. Could you please share with the rest of us what magic you conjured with Gary?
    I have been trying this ‘automatic’ logon with no success.
    After opening FB I can see do something in the status bar, but never managed to get a login.


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