Making your identity your own

On Tuesday, April 21st, Google announced a new product “Google Me”. It allows folks, like you and me, to create our own profile smallprofiles on the Google Profile site and then when someone does a Google search on that name, the profile you entered will appear on the first results page.  The top four results for that name will be displayed based on the amount of information in your Google Profile.

The setup is very easy.

  1. enter the word me in the Google search field
  2. the first result will be a link to Google Profiles where you can enter the information.  For a comprehensive description of the type of information you can enter see this link from search engine land.
  3. One of the more useful components of the Google Profile is the ability to add links to other sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc.

That is it. The next time someone does a Google searches for your name – your profile will appear on the first page (at the bottom unfortunately).

So what does this mean for Telcos. A lost opportunity in my view. The battle for providing the master profile service has shifted from the Telcos to the social media and search sites. This is unfortunate as the mobile Telcos especially have the capability to provide verification services as well as profile services that make it profile services even more valuable.

This puts Google into a position of great power as articulated by both  readwriteweb and search engine land. As much as I admire Google, it scares me too.

3 thoughts on “Making your identity your own

  1. Interesting angle on where we are heading.

    Just think…

    If this succeeds we won’t even need Social Security numbers any more. The government can contract with Google to use their “verification” services…

    Financial institutions can also…

    And so can everyone who wants to make sure that “you are you’ online…

    So what happens when there are two folks who go by the same name? Do I, as the second person to apply have to change my name?

    And I suppose that even though “I am I” per Google, Google will not take any legal responsibility that that is really true…

    We tried this back in the late ’90′s with digital certificates and no one wanted to take responsibility for the legal verification so it collapsed. Technology was near to perfect as could be but the tech made no difference. No one was willing to take responsibility for “me really being me” so it all fell back to trusting tech companies who wouldn’t…

    I suppose in the “changed” world of today something here might be different but I have not yet seen hints of it. In fact, today the Telco’s rely on Social Security numbers so our great high tech systems still rely on my paper card…

    Sure hope there is something different here.

  2. Paul, I agree. The difference with the Google approach is that it is opt in and individual focused (others are broader and need focused and typically require separate subscriptions).

    If Google Profile gets critical mass then the network effect will come into play and it will be game over.

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