I've recently started exploring the Stack Exchange network more thoroughly and I found the process of creating accounts on other sites a bit confusing. My process was as follows:

  1. Click the Log In link at the top of the site.
  2. Click the Log In With Google button.
  3. Accept the access request at Google's authorization page.

At this point, I was presented with the following:

This OpenID is new to Science Fiction and Fantasy - Stack Exchange:

Google ([email protected])

| Confirm and create new account | | cancel |

If you think you already have a Science Fiction and Fantasy - Stack Exchange account, and you were just trying to associate a new OpenID with your existing account, you’re in the wrong place.

My original interpretation was that this OpenID was not being recognized by the network and that I would be creating an entirely new account. I think it would be very helpful if there was some mention that the OpenID was recognized by the Stack Exchange network and would be automatically associated upon account creation at the specific site I was visiting.

2 Answers 2


This OpenID is new to Science Fiction and Fantasy

It clearly states that your account (i.e. the Google OpenId) is unknown to SciFi. Since each stackExchange has a dedicated account for the same user, I think this is perfectly valid.

When you created it then it states that "This account has been associated to X stackExchange accounts".

  • > When you created it then it states that "This account has been associated to X stackExchange accounts" That's true, but I didn't even get that far the first few times. I stopped what I was doing because I thought I was doing it incorrectly.
    – bshacklett
    Jun 23, 2011 at 15:23
  • 1
    I had the same experience as @bshacklett . To make it even more confusing, if you start using meta.stackoverflow.com you have to create an account to. When you create that account it does show you that you already have a stackoverflow.com account and that it will be associated with that one. Why can't this be the case for all stackexchange sites?
    – Brambo
    Nov 9, 2011 at 11:53

The message reports that the OpenID is not used on Science Fiction and Fantasy.
The fact is reported to let you know that you are creating a new account on Science Fiction and Fantasy; if you already have an account on Science Fiction and Fantasy, then something weird happened, which is what sometimes happen. The other reason to report it is to be sure you were not trying to associate other OpenID credentials to an existing account; in that case, you are doing it in the wrong way. I guess the message is because there have been users who, to associate another OpenID to their accounts, created another account with new OpenID credentials and using the same display name used for the other account, thinking that the accounts would be merged together.

The point of misunderstanding is that there isn't a global account on SE sites; each site has a different account. If I visit a new SE site, I don't have an account, and I must create it. The system will associate those accounts that match some criteria, and show them in your "accounts" tab, but the accounts are still specific for a single SE site.

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