Friday, April 24, 2009

Have You Created Your Google Profile?

Google announced the profile product earlier this week. I tried it, and was interested in how it worked.

What you do is type “me” in the Google search box and a profile page for you comes up. If that creeps you out, then when you see they know quite a bit about you, you may be doubly creeped. However, when I looked carefully I realized the things they knew came from other Google sites (Blogger and YouTube in my case). I added my website, not hosted by Google.

Once you set up a profile, the link shows at the bottom of the first search page when someone searches for your name.

The two things that happened to my profile were specific to my situation. I am cursed with two first names, and the only way to get that into most forms is to run them together. Consequently, I’m visible on the web under both versions of my name. Not good, if I were counting on the visibility. On that note, however, it looks to me as if Google is indexing a lot more profiles that I have scattered all over the web than they used to, but that may be just my imagination. I count on my Google Alert and haven’t Googled myself for a long time.

The second thing is also unique to my own situation, which I happily describe as “semi retired.” I do still teach, so I put that in. The way they put it together sort of made it look as if Harvard had set up a satellite campus on Cape Cod, which would be very convenient for me, but isn’t likely to happen!
So I changed where put Harvard, into previous employer, and the display works better, although it’s not the way I would prefer it.

I couldn’t find a way to link to my Twitter home page, so I just put that in the bio section. I didn’t bother with contacts but it looks as if you can send this to contacts from your Gmail account. I know all of mine would love that!

My assessment is that this works; it’s not clear that it adds much for someone who already has more visibility than she needs. If you’re working on online visibility, or if there’s something (or someone) that confusing about what is readily available for you online, it may be useful.

I wonder if you’re on your corporate network, if the “me” search will in effect create a corporate page; I rather doubt it. I can’t see any way to purposefully create a corporate page (a la Facebook), but if you’re more cleaver than I you might be able to game their system.

This isn’t the answer for people who want to effortlessly transfer their profile from one network to another. Does it have any potential to be linked with Open Social down the road? The two look very different to me, but—in time—who knows?

1 comment:

emarketed said...

great info, i really need to check that out! thanks!