I just read in my Google Reader that the new Spread OpenID website launched today. I think the general idea behind OpenID is a great one, so do not mistake the following comments as something negative towards OpenID. We desperately need something like OpenID in this day and age. The ability to have a single non-centralized login is great. Especially one that embraces open standards. For more information on OpenID, you can look at my own writings in my article entitled All About OpenID.
Now, on to the question in the subject. The new website Spread OpenID, is a play on the SpreadFirefox web site that has been around for quite some time now. These websites are started as efforts to bring the product to a wider audience. They offer up for download graphical icons that can be placed on websites or in forum signatures and so forth as a way of promoting the product. Basically if you really like whatever it is they are trying to “spread” they offer some ways to do it.
My question is, do the sites really work? I mean Firefox is doing fine true, but that was more due to the full page New York Times ad that SpreadFirefox helped raise money for. So while the website itself brought the community together for the purpose of marketing, is it the website or rather the efforts of those behind the website that are helping the products? I guess one could argue that they are one and the same. However, why create a second website? OpenID already has a pretty nice looking website (OpenID.net). Does it really need a second one to explain the benefits and such of OpenID?
Maybe products that have a strong following (life OpenID & Firefox) can benefit from websites such as these. I think that it might be good to revisit this issue in one year’s time to see how much adoption OpenID sees. The hard part of course is determining how much of that adoption was a result of the Spread OpenID website.