It looks like OpenID is an idea whose time has come if this long and detailed post by Tom Coates is anything to go by. You see, it’s all very well having the convenience of being able to log into several sites with one ID. In a phrase: big deal. Where OpenID could be really useful is in aggregating all the IDs of the real, trusted people, and thus distinguishing them from the fake, untrusted people created by comment spammers, robots and other entities trying to spoof identity online. Now you’re talking. Now you have a possible system for reputation and trust, the like of which has not existed before. Of course, it doesn’t exist yet, but if the standards behind OpenID are adopted and developed then a lot of the drawbacks which come with social networking and user generated content networks could be addressed in a big way.