25 Days of omg.lol

Day 1

Woah, 25 Days of omg.lol is back! Of course, it’s already December 2 in many parts of the world as I write this, and I’m just now getting around to writing this post for December 1. Not off to a great start, but better late than never?

Last year was all about weblog.lol, which was a fun of fun to build in just under two weeks. This year, though, I’m doing something a bit different: I’m going to start with something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and then see where it goes. Maybe I’ll spend the entire month on it. Maybe I’ll knock it out in a week and then be able to focus on something else. I have no idea! But you’re invited to roll along with me on this 25 day journey as we count down to the holidays with code and festive cheer (and bugs, but they’ll be festive and cheery bugs).

So, without any further blathering, I’m happy to share that I’m going to be working on...

Neatnik Accounts!

Neatnik Accounts? Yes, Neatnik Accounts! Okay, I know, that might sound somewhat bland and probably isn’t anywhere near as fun as building a weblog. I can’t even pretend that it’s a little bit sexy or whatever. But, believe me when I say that it’s really important, for a few reasons.

Earlier this year, I made a pretty wild decision to implode omg.lol’s entire login system and replace everything with Passage, an amazing passwordless authentication platform backed by the security and genius of 1Password. I was super confident in my decision to do this: I think passkeys are the future, and I loved the idea of an authentication setup that genuinely encourages their use. And I made this change with enthusiasm and confidence! But, as it turns out, I also made a mistake. :(

I totally flunked the part of the designer/creator test where you’re supposed to solicit input from your audience. I didn’t ask anyone what they might think of this change in advance; I just did it. And while most people have been pretty cool with it, I’ve received plenty of feedback over the past several months that make it clear that I got some things wrong with the change. And I’ve learned quite a bit from that.

I still believe that passkeys are the future, and I still think everyone should be using them all over the place. So of course I’m still going to support them! But I’m also going to bring back passwords and traditional 2FA, too, because those things still have their place in a world where passkeys are brand new and not everyone is ready to use them.

Rather than just make these changes with omg.lol, though, I had a classic “developer efficiency” moment when I realized that building a single authentication process that could be shared with all of the stuff I have floating around out there might be a good plan. I already have rad.dad up and running (which was the first thing I set up with Passage), and soon we’ll have DNS Kitchen and Web 1 Land. These are all Neatnik LLC little business entity thingies, so why not just roll out a single account system that works across all of it? It would make all of our lives easier.

So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Starting right now! You can track my progress here on this weblog, and don’t forget to open the little advent calendar doors each day if you’re into that kind of thing. I’ll do my best to have a new door ready to open by midnight local time (that’s Eastern Standard time here in lovely Louisville, Kentucky, USA) but things might be a little inconsistent because I’m working on a massive project at work. (Yeah, I have a day job too!)

Until tomorrow, and always your computer programmer friend,

— Adam