Who does the web think you are?

Aug 18, 2009 | Mobile & Web

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Whilst I was at Microsoft Live Labs I pitched a concept to create a badge that could be posted to your facebook, myspace page or blog that would constantly monitor your activity on your machine as well as across blogs, facebook, twitter, and other social services and provide a ‘badge’ for want of a better word that would give someone a view of who you are and how you spend your time online and with your computer. The pitch failed to get resourced but as always there’s no such thing as an original idea and Aaron Zinman of the MIT Media Lab has put together a similar concept named ‘Personnas‘ using sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one’s aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you. While lacking in some of the functionality I envisioned, (namely the local activity and allowing you to drill into the original data so you can see how it arrived at its conclusions and posting it to your facebook page, it’s in the right ballpark.

Unfortunately in my case above the summary is a little confusing as there are a few sporting stars with the same name as I, and apparantly a criminal mastermind (unless the application has been monitoring my speeding) as I’m apparently a wee bit ‘illegal’. Regardless it’s a fun applicaiton to stick your name into and see what it spits out the other end. Wouldn’t surprise me if it went viral as *everyone* has the vanity gene and googles themselves every now and again. An interesting and visually pleasing collation and analysis of your activity (and those with the same name) have been up to.

Check out your own Personna at http://personas.media.mit.edu/


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