Consolidating Online Identities
I’ve spent this week talking about the importance of claiming your online identity by creating accounts and profiles with the various social networking and Web 2.0 sites.
When you begin to do this, though, it immediately becomes apparent that you’re going to have a logistics problem on your hand when you try to manage all these accounts.
The service does not yet exist but whoever creates a unified login/management application that will allow you to update your MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn pages, upload content to your YouTube and Flickr accounts, manage your del.icio.us and StumbleUpon bookmarks, and post messages to your Twitter and Jaiku microblogs will have an instant hit on their hands.
We need consolidation tools.
Though it doesn’t address the problem I’ve just outlined, Spock is a new entry in the people search space that offers a way to consolidate all of your online outposts on one page.
If you’ve never used Spock you may nevertheless find your name listed there because it appears the "people search engine" is harvesting data about individuals from sites like LinkedIn. I found two friends listed at Spoke whom I am certain have not used the site, much less heard of it. Both listings included my friends’ names, their geographic location, their job title, and a link to their LinkedIn profile. As Facebook opens up their profile pages to the search engines, expect that site to be added to Spock’s crawl list.
If your name is in Spock’s search results, you can "claim your search results" by creating an account and filling out your profile. It’s a rather clever approach on Spock’s part because it certainly gives people an incentive to create an account and add data.
Two of the main features of Spock are the ability to add links to all of your online profiles and the ability for you to apply tags to your profile. (Spock allows anyone to apply tags to your profile, which begs the question: What’s to prevent people from tagging you an "idiot" or some other derogatory term?)
If it takes off, it could prove to be a great platform from which to promote yourself.