Monday, October 29th, 2012

OpenID Sign-ups are live

You can now create an account on Python Diary using the sign-in link on the top right hand corner. Despite it saying "Sign in", it also allows for the creation of an account as well. The account process uses OpenID to create your account or sign into one you already created. This does mean, if you possess more than one OpenID-enabled account, you can create multiple accounts on this website, but why?

Benefits of having an account

Now you may be asking yourself, why would I even want to have an account here? Simple! If you have an account, you can easily opt'd out or opt'd in to various services. Currently this is limited to Google Analytics Tracking, and Adsense. Because I respect privacy, I understand that some users may not wish to be tracked by Google Analytics or have ads served to them. Other reasons besides privacy, might be bandwidth reasons. For this, I provide a really easy way to disable either on the website.

Very soon, subscriptions will also be enabled, and you can also opt'd in to this as well. When a new post is added to the website, you will immediately receive an Email alert about the post and when it is scheduled to be published. These alerts usually provide a few days in advance for new article publications, giving you a heads up on what to expect in the coming days.

Other features being considered are the ability to bookmark articles on the website for future reading, and the addition of a forum.

Of course, soon the comments forms will be redone as well... So when you are signed in, you will only need to enter in your comment. The other fields will be auto-populated server-side from your account information. This will streamline the comments system and hopefully allow more users to add their input. Furthermore, if you are signed in, and have had an account for at least 7 days, your comments will auto appear with no delay.

Hopefully these new upcoming features will entice people to sign-up and create an account.

Comment #1: Posted 7 years, 9 months ago by Stephan Sokolow

I don't mean to be rude, but I get the impression you don't properly understand the rationale behind the behaviours you're offering as incentives to log in.

Logging into your blog doesn't protect me from Analytics and AdSense elsewhere on the web and, for it to affect that, it inherently has to be able to identify which requests are specifically mine. So, if I care about anonymity and privacy (which I do), I'll have already applied some kind of Firefox or Chrome extension to block the tracking code web-wide and there's no point in opting out of tracking on a per-site basis unless it's some truly massive site I visit every day and had other reasons to be logged into.

(In my case, I use NoScript to block Javascript via whitelisting, RefControl's "forge by default" mode to prevent things like Google Font Library and Google Ajax CDN from tracking me via my Referer header, and OptimizeGoogle to randomize Google tracking cookies on a per-request basis even when I'm visiting actual Google sites.)

The subscriptions are a more appropriate incentive, but you didn't put much effort into fighting the impression that, because "all login requires that you register first", logging in is too much hassle.

As such, your average visitor will probably wonder why you didn't just run WordPress and use the "Just give us an e-mail address and click go. No prior login or registration needed" e-mail subscription feature offered by every blog and any standalone WordPress instance running the Jetpack plugin.

Oh, and your "token expired" message doesn't give me my message with paragraph formatting intact so I'm glad the Back button left "Comment" filled in for me to copy out of.

Also, I still had to re-type my name, e-mail, and URL though, since your randomized field names confused Firefox's auto-fill. Given that this post already has spam on it, is that hassle to end users really worth it? I'd say it's much better to use something along the lines of SpamKarma 2 for PHP (which I use via the included WordPress plugin) that does a semi-statistical analysis of the message using things like an IP check, time between visiting the page and posting, did the client successfully calculate a nonce using the provided JS, etc.) and gives me no false positives and maybe one or two spam landing in the moderation queue per month.

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