The universal log-in has been a holy grail concept since “online” became a concept. Now we have Microsoft and Yahoo’s joint effort Open ID, aggregation applications like Meebo for IM/chat clients and Friendfeed/Facebook for social media.
Frankly, any popular application login can be used as a login proxy if they partner with other sites to offer an alternative login method. Well, Facebook Connect does this. Wired says Facebookers will be able to log onto Digg, Hulu and Discovery.com with their Facebook email and password.
Here is a screenshot demonstrating the Facebook (as well as MySpace/Orkut/Hi5) login proxy at the social network aggregation site Power.com (a site with 5,000,000 members that nobody has heard of)
This is the commoditization of the logon based on a no-money win-win business model. Sites like Hulu gain new Facebookers who will socially enrich its site, and Facebook gains from the control and data mining of its members visiting other sites (which can eventually be monetized for advertising purposes).
This is a simple solution to the universal login. It took the realization that sites don’t need to “own the user registration”, just make it easier for anybody to logon to their site. The publishing metaphor is apt: online newspapers don’t need to close off their content by a paid subcription wall, open it up and make it easier for the content to be consumed.