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AOL and 63 Million OpenIDs

Yesterday, I blogged about AOL's work-in-progress on OpenID. It generated a lot of positive commentary. I realized after reading the reactions that I buried the lead: There are now 63 million AOL/AIM OpenIDs[1]. Anyone can get one by signing up for a free AIM account. This is cool.

To address Paul's concern in Please delete my aol OpenID: We definitely want the user to be in control of their online presence. At the moment, the OpenID URL at redirects you off to an AIM Profile. That's not necessarily the long term experience, though I think it should be one of the default options. George Fletcher has pointed out that it would be even better if we could redirect people off to whatever page they wanted, as long as they could verify that they owned the page. My take is, if you don't actually use the OpenID URL, it doesn't really exist. The same way a Wiki page doesn't exist until you edit it. On the other hand, having people go in and kick the tires to uncover issues is exactly why we're talking about this. So let us know what you think.

Another important point is that you can point at the AOL OpenID service from any web page you own in order to turn its URL into an OpenID. The minimal requirements are basically that you have some AOL or AIM account, and that you add a couple of links to your document's HEAD:

<link rel="openid.server" href="" >
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="" >

We added this to our blogs product in a few minutes minutes and it's in beta now. You can also support YADIS discovery which gives additional capabilities. See Sam Ruby's OpenID for non SuperUsers for a good summary.

The detailed status from yesterday's post:

  • Every AOL/AIM user now has at least one OpenID URI,
  • This experimental OpenID 1.1 Provider service is available now and we are conducting compatibility tests.
  • We're working with OpenID relying parties to resolve compatibility issues.
  • Our blogging platform has enabled basic OpenID 1.1 in beta, so every beta blog URI is also a basic OpenID identifier.  (No Yadis yet.)
  • We don't yet accept OpenID identities within our products as a relying party, but we're actively working on it.  That roll-out is likely to be gradual.
  • We are tracking the OpenID 2.0 standardization effort and plan to support it after it becomes final.

(I should clarify that I really work in the social networking / community / profile / blogging groups at AOL rather than the identity group per se. You can look to see what I actually do on a day to day basis over at my personal blog.)

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[1] (Update): The 63 million figure comes from Wikipedia's AIM Entry as of May 2006.

adding screen name

every time i try to add a screen name I come up with a blank screen that at the bottom left conor says done. I can not add any additional names there are only two names at this time on this account and according to your information I can have seven.


Mannsgmann -

Try That is the best place to get help with the AOL software and to determine what might be going on when you're adding screennames.

Receiving an error from AOL openid provider

I am using php library 1.2.3
I am using their sample/consumer/index.php example. I am able to get identity from myopenid provider but
using AOL as an identity provider AOLS's profileservice seems to be timing out. This worked yesterday but
today I am getting constant timeout error. This error occurs after I login to screen name screen after authentication.

Any help/suggestion is appreciated.



mmmm... strange but most

mmmm... strange but most articles about AOL i came across were about its declining popularity. But i don't use it much by myself to charge(

Screenplay Writing Software

I'm not really sure what

I'm not really sure what you're asking, but I'll try to answer anyway, as I am also quite tired.

First, you can't use an OpenID to log into an AOL account just yet.
However, if you happen to need to log into a site that happens to accept an OpenID, you can use: "" as your login.

If you want to test it out, goto and type in "" as username (no password - that will be asked by AOL).
(I find it funny that doesn't use openId to login)

I think all of this was mentioned in the initial post.

The idea behind openId is that you choose one URL-style username to identify yourself across the internet. If everyone accepted openId logins, then you wouldn't be in password hell every time a site made you change your password to 26 characters with at least 4 caps and 3 symbols and a smack on the ass to boot!

My current aol username-

I'm very tired so this contributes to what may seem to be lazy questions searching for lazier answers. So be it. This has become, however, my first "favorite site" in my very long history with, I wanna grab on to it quikly and is my email.I'm curious...may I use this as my ID? If so, how do I write it out as a whole to comply with your site?
--Would it be better to join AIM with a new user ID and use THAT for your site as well?
I'm quite willing to do whatever you suggest...even going with your previous suggestions about aquiring an ID specifically for your site. Mind giving me a little nudge here? Because I really like what I've squeezed out time to peruse and am anxious to comb through every page- however, with legal (ID'd) input to follow up with the 100's of ideas that have already snuggled in to hopefully slide me out of this sleepless cycle and allow me some intense, wondrous and provocative dreams- and you can surely snap on "reply" as well and tell me to use some of this spinning creativity to get an ID myself and get busy wrapping my own dang ball of string- either way, I'm going to get up off my knees that are rapidly tiring and thank you for the site and reply, if I get one.