Sign in with your Twitter account to comment

If you’ve left a comment on this blog during the past ten days, you will have noticed an additional option on the comment form to identify yourself with your Twitter account instead of providing the required information of your name and email address.

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This functionality is provided by Twit Connect, a nifty plugin for WordPress created by Shannon Whitley (he who created the very useful Chat Catcher plugin for WordPress).

Why would you, as a would-be commenter, want to use this?

Well, on a simple level, it lets you sign in to a blog without directly disclosing any information about you: instead, you connect to your Twitter account and it gives authority to the blog you’re on to allow you to comment there.

So Twit Connect allows the blog access to some of your information on Twitter (one site), and gives that to the site you want to leave a comment on (another site: mine, for instance), without sharing all of your identity.

Here’s the tech explanation: it does this via OAuth, an open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a simple and standard method from desktop, mobile and web applications (detailed information if you want to read that).

It seems similar to the sign-in concepts of Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect. I like Twit Connect, though, for its simplicity.

I hope you find it useful here. Let me know what you think.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Thomas Ho

    So what happens to my comment when I authenticate to Twitter to comment? Will this comment show up in my Tweetstream?

    I like Disqus for aggregating comments. How does this functionality compare to Disqus?

  2. Mark_McGee

    Interesting idea, nice to see a merge of apps. Will Twitter eventually merge with Gravatar and others to become a super app?

  3. Shannon Whitley

    Hi @Thomas Ho,

    The WordPress comment system doesn’t change with Twit Connect. It doesn’t post your comment to Twitter (although that is an interesting suggestion). Twit Connect just allows a user to avoid having to type in their name, email address, and website. There’s also the added benefit of being able to display the Twitter profile avatar. It’s a simple convenience feature to make it easier for people to leave comments on your blog.

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