Friday, April 20, 2007

Your blog is your resume -- sort of

In a post currently making the rounds on Techmeme, blogs are declared to be the "new resume." True enough as far as it goes -- I would have said "personality portfolio" -- but the post hints that the blog is only the tip of the iceberg:
Your blog isn’t the only mirror of your life.
Folks are getting savvy to the places that people are building online. Your facebook account, MySpace account, LinkedIn profile, Flickr set…all of these represent you, too. Make sure not that they paint you in an unfailing light, but that they represent you accurately. The best defense is truthfulness…be sure to always be truthful about yourself and everything will fall into place.
I agree with the first part -- the totality of one's online identity is getting easier and easier to aggregate -- although I disagree with the second. (You edit your resume and portfolio, and I don't see why you can't edit your online presence as well.)

So what are the other "mirrors of your life"? How is the totality of one's online identity presented? I've been posting a lot about one variant, lifestreaming, in which you collect and aggregate all of the traces you leave online. iStalkr is one recent example: a social feed aggregator that allows you to place your stream of interactions alongside those of others.

But what if others aren't playing? What if you want to monitor your friends' -- or enemies', or potential hires' -- online identities? Well, you could use Tabber:

Tabber works like this: You create contacts (or import them), then addtheir various online bases of activity - like their blog URL, and Digg usernames, photo gallery, etc. Once you'veimported all that information, Tabber keeps tabs on your friend'sactivities and lets you know when they've updated their blog, theirphoto gallery, or what site they just bookmarked in

So Tabber is basically iStalkr without an opt-in. That seems fair game, since the information is public anyway, it's just being aggregated. As Bill Hart-Davidson reminded me yesterday, Latour gestures toward this in Reassembling the Social when he says that "information technologies allow us to trace the associations in a waythat was impossible before ... they make visible what was before onlypresent virtually" (p.207). These make possible oligoptica: "from oligoptica, sturdy but extremely narrow views of the (connected) whole are made possible -- as long as connections hold" (p.181). Social aggregators are currently their fullest expression.

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