I regularly google about people in advance of meetings with them. Admittedly it was disconcerting the first time I met someone new and hearing them mention that they had been checking me out too! I was immediately curious (and slightly anxious) as to what they had found. “All good things, right?”
In my case it’s my own Facebook profile and then my personal Linked In page. There are then a bunch of entries relating to ‘the other Farid‘ (whom I know personally), before you hit my Twitter profile. This situation is fortunate because I still have some control over what people think when they check me out:
- At the top of the list, you are indeed looking at the real Farid Essack (i.e. me and not the other guy)
- I have the power to change the content in my Linked In profile and my Facebook page
Great, but there’s still a problem: my professional persona in the Linked in profile is different from my Facebook persona and both of these are vastly different from what I use Twitter for.
I heard about About.Me through Twitter and the concept is brilliant and simple. About.me is offering a single page splash screen as the first impression that people get when they check you out. They can then navigate to your various other online personalities through links on this page. Via a dashboard, you get to see how much interest there’s been, where they’ve come from and what they clicked on next. Most importantly however is that you get to control that important first impression that people get.
It’s in beta at the moment but interest is spreading pretty quickly. They’re venture cap funded and have some some influential backers. A quick look at the Twitter activity on the subject shows the Twitterati breaking down the doors to get a Beta invite. Better reserve your name before the public release: the only thing worse than not having control of that first impression is having someone take over yours as a lark. But then nobody is twisted enough to do that, right?
I can’t personally see how the format ‘http://about.me/%5BYourname%5D’ can ever be sustainable. One check on Facebook for ‘Tim Jones’ as an example brings up over 500 results. On the other hand it’s precisely this exclusivity that’s making the big splash at the moment. I mean people still make up silly permutations to get a dotcom url. Act now and beat your namesakes to the one instance of your name that’s up for grabs.
Oh, here’s me: http://about.me/faridessack