Ryan Freebern (rfreebern) wrote in memedev,
Ryan Freebern
rfreebern
memedev

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LJ Account Verification

So while brainstorming a new meme, I ran up against an issue that has been dealt with before, but that doesn't have a satisfactory solution yet: how do you verify that a person actually owns the LJ account they claim to?

The method used in the past goes as follows:
  1. Provide your LJ username.
  2. Go edit your userinfo (or make a public post) and add a certain keyword or number.
  3. Click "verify" so that the script can retrieve your userinfo (or latest public post) and check for the keyword or number.
  4. If keyword or number is there, accept. If not, reject.
  5. Go edit your userinfo (or the post) and remove the extraneous keyword or number because it's annoying to have it there.
This is cumbersome and deters casual users who don't want to invest that much time in a "stupid meme." Here's what would be ideal:
  1. Provide your LJ username.
  2. Click "verify" so that the script can somehow magically check if you're telling the truth.
Obviously this has flaws such as that it relies on magically determining veracity.

A second option is to ask the user to provide their LJ username and password, and use the LJ protocol behind the scenes to log into LJ as them. This, however, requires that the user trust you with their LJ info, which is both a bad idea and an even bigger deterrent, even if we swear up and down that we won't cache that info or use it for anything other than verification.

Here's my proposal: we could set up a centralized "MemePass" system so that people only have to verify their LJ account once, and we can all use a central username/password database in the future to determine if they've been verified. Anyone think this is useful enough to commit time and energy to? I'd be willing to design, write, and host the system over the next few weeks if you all think it would get used.
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