Right now, people are in a war over how you are going to create your online identity to travel through the halls of the great and wonderful interweb. The main players right now are OpenId and Facebook Connect.
It might not seem like a big deal, but if you think about the digital trail of breadcrumbs that you leave when wandering the cyber halls of tomorrow and who eats up those breadcrumbs, it becomes apparent that there is a lot at stake.
In order to really understand what is going on, try to imagine the internet as a big Virtual World (a little more encompassing than Second Life), and before you can travel through the world, you have to make a little avatar. Right now, OpenId and Facebook Connect are the two major forces in this field. If you go to Twitter and start your little micro blogging (“Fred Meyer has bananas for 79 cents!”), you can sign in using your Facebook account. Which is great for Facebook. All those little breadcrumbs (filled with nasty little bits of info like shopping habits, demographic statistics, etc.) now will get fed back into the Facebook machine and your advertisement banners that you see will be more accurately directed at you.
This all sounds fine and dandy (especially if you are paying for advertisements – now you know that only people who would care about your product are actually seeing little things about it), but what does that do to the consumer?
Only time will tell, I guess.