New Automatic Account Association

by Jeff Atwood

on May 19, 2010

We're bringing back a feature we had to put on ice way back when we launched Server Fault: *automatic account association**. Due largely to the vagaries of how Google implemented OpenID, we reluctantly made account association a manual process.

But not any more. As OpenID has matured, we've figured out a way to make it happen. So as of today, whenever you log in to any site in our network, which is currently...

  • Stack Overflow

  • Server Fault

  • Super User

  • Meta Stack Overflow

... we will automatically find any related accounts you have on any site in our network, and associate them with your account. The only thing you need to do for this to work, is log in using the same OpenID on each site.

But wait! There's more!

At new user login time, in addition to association, we also:

  1. Grant you a +100 reputation bonus on the current site, as long as you have at least +200 reputation on any site in our network. So you're not treated like a newbie on every new site we launch.

  2. Copies your profile from the network site where you have the highest reputation, to the current site.

  3. Locate any of your questions that were migrated to this site and make you own them again. It was impossible for you to own them prior to this point, because you didn't even have an account on the current site!

None of the above is truly new, but it is now fully automatic at login time. And we're not taking away manual control, either -- you can still associate and de-associate manually via the accounts tab on your user page, as before.

As you might imagine, this sort of "identity that follows me from website to website" becomes more and more important as we launch more sites in our network -- as planned with Stack Exchange 2.0.

  • no, I haven't forgotten it's almost the one year anniversary of Server Fault going public. We have something very special planned, so stay tuned...