My public service post for the month.
OpenID is a nice little thing, and it allows you to log in to services you do not actually have an account with. Generally a pseudo-account is created for you under username.homeservice.com. People on, for example, LJ-code-based services can then friend your “account”, username.homeservice.com. Voila, you can read the locked posts of your friends on services that are not homeservice. If you friend them back with your pseudo-account, you will have an otherservice fpage to read them on.
That’s the sketch. Here’s the dissection.
OpenID will not let you view all of your otherservice friends’ locked posts on your homeservice flist. If your friend on otherservice has an RSS feed account at on your homeservice, locked entries will not appear there. Alas, or possibly thank goodness, considering the security issues. What OpenID will let you do is have an flist on each service in question. Each flist will let you read and comment on the locked posts of your friends.
So what you do is this.
Go ahead and log in to otherservice with OpenID; there will usually be something on the homepage telling you how, or you can just comment. When prompted by homeservice whether or not to trust otherservice with confirmation, make sure you select “Yes Always”. Don’t worry, otherservice doesn’t get your password or anything. Open up your profile page (you will have one, at least on the LJ-code-based services).
Click on the “edit your profile” link and fill in your email address. This is extremely important. This is how you will get replies to your OpenID comments sent to you. If you wish, you can also select an icon for your OpenID account.
Now log out and log in again, checking any boxes you need to check for “remember me” or “keep me logged in”. Be sure your cookies are set to allow that site to remember you, if you do not normally allow that.
Friend everyone you need to (this is also important) and ask them to friend your OpenID pseudo-account back (equally important).
Now open up your otherservice flist and copy the url.
Go back to your homeservice and add that url to your link list. Repeat these steps for each otherservice flist.
Now you can click on those links and read your various flists, just like you would click on a subdivision or filter of your homeservice flist. And, because you are always logged in (be sure to check that occasionally in case you’re bumped off) you will be able to read locked posts and comment seamlessly, without having to log in or switch around.
This is how OpenID lets you have a distributed flist. It’s really multiple flists, but if you have the link right there in your sidebar, your actual reading experience will be about as simple as it always has been with a single service.