The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 10:04:52 AM on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
When someone Google's you, are they getting the real "you" or a combination of people sharing the same name?  You previously had to work hard to control your identity and found search results.  Google has opened the door to better control with  Google Profiles.  I can see the argument that Google is going after social sites that have large profile information, a la Facebook.  But do you really think they want that space?  Why not simply pull profile information from sites where I have aggregated data and profiles?  If Google could make a hook into some of those, it would save me incredible amounts of time.  It would also increase the number of profiles that get built on their own site.  Is this more of showing yourself off or becoming a control point of your own identity?

Let's cover how the whole thing works.  When someone searches for a name now, there is a new profiles section that shows at the bottom of the search results page (sample for me).  If you have a unique name, this really benefits you since you may well be the only result.  For that scenario I would want to make sure I gave them all the correct information I possibly could.  But if you have a fairly common name, you need to stand out.  Here is a sample from Google if you do not want to click my sample.

Image:Do you own yourself on Google? (Google profiles)

Taking an example from the real world, someone like Tom Duff, would want to not only claim his name, but Duffbert (his online persona he built) as well.  Google makes this easy with a customizable  URL with your Google email username. (Note this can make your Google email address publicly discoverable.) This unique name will also be used in other links to your content on Google.  Keep this in mind if you have a private Gmail address.  In this instance Google allows you to create a random number profile address instead.

From there you can fill in tons of fields, hiding and providing as much or as little as you want.  Without a percentage of information, which Google does not show, you can not enable your results to be shown publicly.  I luckily already had a handful of sites that had my entire profile links built and just copied them from there.  Any physical address you enter is then mapped and a link to it is shown.  Profile URL's are listed in a long list down the side.  From there you can write a short bio, list where you lived previously and even fill in such items as birthdays and instant messenger names.

I spent some time adding a myriad of sites to my profile, even after the self discovery suggestions went to work and began filling in the important information.  as you can see, it needs some serious formatting and personalization help, but I can't imagine that Google will not get there in due time.  Pay special attention to the information you show on your "Contact info" tab as this will be shared to everyone.  So if there is an IM name, physical address or even email address you do not want shown, then be careful what you provide when you make your profile public.

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Yes this is a blatant theft of the outline that Jess uses on her page, but I asked permission. Why?? Because I am a hardcore admin and can make ugly tables to make you developers frustrated, but this was too nice to pass up.

Also Known As: Chris Miller (when awake)

Boring Certifications: (only because someone asked twice)

  • Workplace Collaboration Services 2.5 - Team Collab and Messaging
  • Domino 7 Certified Security Administrator
  • PCLP ND7
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Yes, I write some of those dreaded admin cert exams you take. I won't say which ones so you don't come looking for me, but I will say they are the real good recent ones that have been coming out.


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One dog, a Pug. He has been on this world before and seems to understand slippers and a fine cigar. Mind you that is him in the chair and not me.

Let us now also add a deranged cat that is in the process of being toilet trained. Update: Toilet traning was very very close.


Non-stop. At my desk, in my car, walking to work and back to my car downtown. In the house there is a crazy zoned set-up for you home automation geeks.

I am a self-proclaimed MP3 fiend, to which I have tried rehab 4 billion times to no avail. Next is the MP3 hard-drive for the car that I found. Now what kind of music you ask? I will never tell.


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Geek class special abilities:

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Character Bio:

This will take far more time than I have today. I will start with I was born and still live in St. Louis, MO. Even though for a couple years I was never, ever here and always on the road, this is smack in the middle of the US. Everything is just a few hour flight. That part is nice. No beach/ocean/coast isn't the best. But with the travel I make up for it.

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