Establishing an Identity (Success!)

Blogging is more than jotting down a few non-sequitors about the day’s experience.  As I see it, a key part of blogging is interacting within the network of other bloggers–both to promote your blog and to establish the network as a whole.  At first I thought of this as a symboitic relationship, where each blogger benefits from the fact that the other one is diverting a tiny amount of traffic his way, but when you look at it on a larger scale, it’s more communal in nature.  The entire 40k blogging community benefits when we interconnet our sites. 

Major blogging sites like From the Warp & the Bell of Lost Souls do a great job at this, as do many smaller sites.  One way this can be achieved simply is to institute a blog roll (I’ll go into that in a future entry), but this particular entry is about delving into each others works to not only steal ideas, but also to encourage each other. 

One thing we should do more of is to leave comments on each other’s blogs.  Doing so reinforces the blog owner and encourages them to continue posting.  The content within the post may also prove constructive to not only that person, but other people that may happen by.  Lastly, leaving a post may encourage the receipient (and others) to stop by your own blog to see what you’re all about.

I’ve been trying to do this a little more for all of those reasons, but I’m growing tired of signing in each time.  For blogger.com or wordpress.com users, there’s an easy solution that just ties your account in, but for us wordpress.org users, it’s a little more savage.   

Whatever the case, I’m hoping that a few minutes put in up front will help save me time signing in to leave comments on others’ blogs… and if my efforts can help make things easier for other people, then why not share them? 

One of the available options for WordPress.org users is to use OpenID and associate that ID with your blog.  OpenID is a “fast, easy and secure way to sign in to websites.”  It doesn’t remember your passwords to all of the sites, but rather uses an external method of authentication.  It seemed like a good enough idea, and I found a writeup on a the internet as to how to set this up, but it seemed to assume a little more knowledge than most people have of the subject matter.

  1. Download the WordPress.org plugin available here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/openid/installation/.
  2. At first the write tells you very clearly to go to  MyOpenID, which is very important because the openid.com website is a tarpit that doesn’t seem to really want you to sign up to use the service.   Sign up for an OpenID and then check your email to verify.  Easy, peasy.
  3. I modified my PHP header for the theme I’m using within WordPress, by going to the admin console,  choosing “Appearance” > “Editor” and pasting the below snippit immediately above the section labeled “****** NAVBAR” (the last line of the section labeled “****** HEADER”):<link rel=”openid.server” href=”http://www.myopenid.com/server” />
    <link rel=”openid.delegate” href=”litlamzetiv.myopenid.com/”>
  4. Log into your admin section of wordpress, then navigate to “USERS > YOUR PROFILE” and scroll to the bottom of the page.  Edit the box that says “OpenID delegation” to be the link provided to you from your OpenID server (most likely this will be <username>.myopenid.com where <username> is the username assigned to you by OpenID).

Now it seems to work just fine.  Originally I got hung up on step #4 because it isn’t clearly defined anywhere, but it seems to be working properly now.  If you’re getting a logon box for OpenID, but it doesn’t allow you in, instead leading you to a page that’s http://<yourURL>/openid/server, you likely missed step #4 above.

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6 comments on “Establishing an Identity (Success!)

  1. A very good point!

    I have only being seriously doing this blogging thing for the last month. While in no way do I have a large amount of followers or a lot of comments, I do remember the buzz of my first comment and the little high of getting a new follower. The fact that someone is interested enough in what you have to say to leave you a comment or to follow you, is like a little pat on the back for a job well done.

    As for leaving comments I do try to leave a comment most of the time. It does annoy me having to sign my name every time. What am I missing in blogger to make that easier for me?

    The noob shows through again!

    • I’ve not used Blogger myself, so I had to sign in and create an account to test it. Since my blogger account was tied to my gmail account, it seems to recognize me on any blogger-based websites. Though I haven’t tested commenting with that test account on a blogger site, I presume it passes those credentials to the logon box (or at least the logon name).

      The main problem I’m having with my wordpress.org account is not only that it doesn’t pass any sort of credentials, but there’s also no method of authentication(or rather, non-repudiation)–which is to say there’s no real way to verify that it’s me posting on someone else’s blog. Blogger, WordPress.com, OpenID, etc. all handle this by having you put in a password to authenticate you. As it stands right now, I have to use the anonymous “Name & URL” option to sign in… except that any unscrupulous person could sign in with my “name” and URL and post comments as me.

      Coming from an IT/Security background, this isn’t a good thing–so this is what I’m trying to combat. Sorry if I was confusing in my original post.

  2. A very good point!

    I have only being seriously doing this blogging thing for the last month. While in no way do I have a large amount of followers or a lot of comments, I do remember the buzz of my first comment and the little high of getting a new follower. The fact that someone is interested enough in what you have to say to leave you a comment or to follow you, is like a little pat on the back for a job well done.

    As for leaving comments I do try to leave a comment most of the time. It does annoy me having to sign my name every time. What am I missing in blogger to make that easier for me?

    The noob shows through again!

    • I’ve not used Blogger myself, so I had to sign in and create an account to test it. Since my blogger account was tied to my gmail account, it seems to recognize me on any blogger-based websites. Though I haven’t tested commenting with that test account on a blogger site, I presume it passes those credentials to the logon box (or at least the logon name).

      The main problem I’m having with my wordpress.org account is not only that it doesn’t pass any sort of credentials, but there’s also no method of authentication(or rather, non-repudiation)–which is to say there’s no real way to verify that it’s me posting on someone else’s blog. Blogger, WordPress.com, OpenID, etc. all handle this by having you put in a password to authenticate you. As it stands right now, I have to use the anonymous “Name & URL” option to sign in… except that any unscrupulous person could sign in with my “name” and URL and post comments as me.

      Coming from an IT/Security background, this isn’t a good thing–so this is what I’m trying to combat. Sorry if I was confusing in my original post.

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