Category Archives: Identity

Twelve things to update when you get a new job

A checklist for Monday.

1.  Blog.  Put a new photo in the sidebar, and update "about me" page.
2.  Twitter.  New mini-bio, new photo, update the link as appropriate.
3.  Arborwiki. edit the Edward Vielmetti page; that will be the "about me" link.
4.  LinkedIn.  Create the new position, new title.  Get a recommendation.
5.  Facebook.  Make some clever remark, update photo, bio.
6.  Google profile.  Google is probably keeping track of something.
7.  Google search.  Look at all the results from the first page; update.
8.  Short URL.  Find a URL shortening service, create a suitable landing page.
9.  Identify the canonical place where comments should go; link to that.
10.  Email lists.  You're on some; announce there.  Be brief.
11.  Update your signature.
12.  New greeting on phone message.

I'm not sure about the order of these; the phone might be the first on the list.

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mobile identity and mobile memory augmentation

Here's a thought experiment for you.  (See what people are saying: google mobile identity , twitter search mobile identity )

You're waiting to meet someone who you don't know very well, and you have a few minutes with your cell phone to do a little bit of searching or browsing to see what might be useful to know.  If you have one social mobile site to look at, which would it be?  And when the meeting is over, where do you jot down that note to self to remind you for the next visit?

Some possibilities:

Mobile facebook.  If you're frends already, this works pretty well, as long as your correspondent is keeping up appearances.  This is pretty much an all or nothing question.

Mobile Google search.  This works pretty well if the person you're talking to has a distinguished name, but not everyone does.  The results are an absolute mixed bag and vary wildly depending on how much personal SEO someone does and how lucky you are with Google mobile-izing the results.

Mobile LinkedIn.  Dry as dust, this won't even get you someone's picture so that you know you have the right person; suitable for background employment history, so I guess if you're doing impromptu interviews it might be a good part of your mobile arsenal.

Mobile Twitter.  That person you're about to meet, did they have a peanut butter sandwich for dinner last night, so you can avoid suggesting one again?  This is perhaps the most open ended resource to tap into if someone is on Twitter, since it's plausible to believe that you might be able to get a message through that they'd see.

Mobile Gmail search.  If you have had a bunch of correspondence with someone and you use Gmail, one plausible tactic is simply to plow through your old inbox and unearth some conversation from the past to bring up again.  Results may vary but it's a much more personal search than any of the others.

Mobile Flickr.  Is your friend a photographer?  Look at their photo stream, it's like a personal channel into their life.  This only works if you know there's photos to see.

Mobile wiki.  If you, like me, are one of the odd people who keeps a personal wiki, then you can search through it and see if there's some wiki note-to-self that you wrote that triggers a memory or association.  There's a variety of similar memory augmentation tools that fill a niche that was once called a "personal information manager", and the right ones of these offer a jumping off point for reflection or memory or jotting down a few notes.

Mobile address book.  If your address book on your mobile phone or web-based call manager has a notes field, you might have written down a few things or a lot of things that you want to remember for that next conversation.  Most of these that I've seen are pathetic fixed-length field plain text databases with no inter-contact linking and very weak group management, but you might have worked around something's limitations to make it your own.

The overall complaint I have about all of these is that nothing does an awesome job of being the everything-spot to look up a few notes before an impromptu meeting and to jot down a few notes afterwards.   As a rule, the web-based stuff is weak on being a launching point for phone calls, the phone-based stuff is weak on web services, and the social networks aren't private enough.  At some point you just want to carry around a little black address book and write things discreetly in pencil.

Identity, microformats, and the self (as seen on the net)

This bit of an exchange from a mailing list has been stuck in my inbox for more than a year, time to post it.  It was about Chi.mp, a "content hub and identity management portal".

People using Chi.mp will have identities that are importable, exportable, interoperable, portable and most importantly theirs.

and I can't help but think of this from the magazine In Formation #2, part of the late dot-com era:

Come on people, don't believe that you can
create a world where the bits in the system
are a perfect mirror of who you are. Individual
identities are not something that can be reduced
to microformats. I can change my mind, and not
have to go back and update a zillion web pages to
reflect that change of mind. Whatever you are
calling "identity" here is emphatically not what
human beings think of as their identity; perhaps
if you replaced it with "dossier" the nature of
the data gathering would be more clear in a historical
context (think Stasi, for instance, instead of Facebook).

To the extent that your personal data projected onto the internet
(or onto the financial networks or the astral plane) is a reflection of
you, then in some real sense it is you.

I'll stay very skeptical that by standardizing a microformat that we
can easily update that we can somehow "control our own identity".
How much of your personal identity (or the data that reflects some
aspect of your personal identity) is really stored on servers and systems
and for that matter on paper beyond your immediate control? After all,
I have a dossier (er, Address Book entry) which you can't update at
will. If you change names, change jobs, or change ideas about what
your Self is, that's going to take some time to percolate through The System,
and some parts of it will be unchangable just like the name you never
use now but that people who knew you from when you were little still
call you.