Passport Live ID has employed a button for approaching a decade.
The problem with all of these buttons is that there are bound to be so many of them. As in my article on annoying social bookmark icons, I can already begin to imagine the OpenID button area that we’re soon to start seeing pop up (and there are already some examples of poor re-inventions of the button-area):
The right way to solve this problem is for us all to agree right up front on a way for each publisher to only have only one button–an OpenID button. Clickpass has an implementation that’s more than halfway there, and I think that one possible future would consist of Clickpass having opened up their button to the point that a user who already has any other OpenID gets a first-class experience with the Clickpass button. I believe that Clickpass won’t ultimately thrive without being as open as possible and collaborating closely with the OpenID community, but from my brief conversations with Peter Nixey, it seems clear to me that they get that.
Another possible future (which is not mutually exclusive with the previous one) consists of the OpenID community coming together to build an OpenID button that does things right. Clickpass would certainly still have a business in providing added value over the community-owned OpenID button, but the community button would provide a non-proprietary alternative for those site owners who value openness over features.
I’ll follow this article up shortly with a description of the minimum set of features that would be required for a community button to take off.