What is a Google ID and Why Do I Need One?

Our website is now hosted by Google, so all of our security is tied to Google accounts.  A Google account is what lets you use personalized Google services like Gmail or Calendar.  Your Google ID is the e-mail account associated with your Google account.  You Sign In with your Google ID (e-mail) and your Google password.

Unless you're posting stuff on the website, you don't need to Sign In

Most of the website is open.  You only need to Sign In with your Google ID if you're posting something - News, Calendar item, etc. or trying to view one of the protected pages.

I'd like to contribute.  How do I get a Google ID?

Simply go to http://www.google.com, and pick the Sign In button.  The pick the Sign Up button, and fill-out the form.  Google has changed their policy so that now all Google accounts are set up with a Gmail account, which becomes your Google ID.  Of course you don't have to use it for anything except to Sign In, but all notices coming from Google services will come through this account.  So calendar reminders and other automatic notices from Google will come through your Gmail account.

That sucks.  How do I fix it?

Yes it does, but you can go into your Gmail account settings and set up a forwarding address and have Gmail forward all messages to your preferred e-mail account.