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Why do I have to register for every individual StackExchange community? Shouldn't I just be able to have one login to have access to the entire StackExchange family?

  • 3
    You can use a single login, but you have multiple profiles. – George Duckett Apr 9 '14 at 7:53
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    Do you have the same key for all doors in your house? (Even if yes, say no). – Maroun Apr 9 '14 at 8:11
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    But the reality is, because I use Google as my login, that when I register for another SE community, I /do/ have the same key for all the doors in my house. I realize that not everybody does it this way, but I'm just trying to understand the rationale better because I have another project with similar characteristics where we have to decide whether logins should be silo'd off. – Avery Chan Apr 9 '14 at 8:31
  • Actually, if you use Google, you have some weird skeleton key setup. They actually give you a different identity for each domain name, but SE also asks for your e-mail address, so it can match up your accounts across sites. – TRiG is Timothy Richard Green Apr 9 '14 at 8:53
  • Is there anything I can do to encourage discussion? Seems like there are people interested in the answer but no one can give a cogent explanation. – Avery Chan Apr 10 '14 at 4:49
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    Agreed, the different logins are downright silly. If Google or Yahoo can have a single sign on, why can't Stack Exchange? – Andomar Apr 14 '14 at 7:47
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+100

Not everyone wants to "be the same person" across all the stackexchange sites. If you choose to use the same identity provider, then your accounts are all connected. From my SO profile you can navigate to my profiles on cooking, science fiction, travel, gardening, the great outdoors, etc and learn actually quite a lot about me.

I may have accounts on other SE sites that you can't see from my SO profile. That would involve using a different identity provider for those sites. (And most likely a different email address, to get a different gravatar, and a different display name.) The way things are set up now makes that as easy to do as the "everything is public here's links to everything about me" way. I like that.

Usually, when I go to a site where I haven't logged in for ages, it notices some cookie in my browser, I guess that I have logged in on another site, and after a pause I get the `Welcome back, Kate Gregory, you've been logged in. Click here to Refresh" message. That feels pretty much identical to single login to me.

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    To reinforce the "same person" thread, we have sites for workplace affairs and all kinds of professional matters... and we have two different religion sites, and there was once a Sexuality site (it failed beta). You, dear reader, are presumably comfortable with your employer knowing about your participation on the former sites; what about on the latter sites? – michaelb958 Apr 14 '14 at 13:48

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