your online identity & you
Since the emergence of the super- Web Highway , we have all pretty much exposed ourselves and our identity on the www. Whether we upload pictures/images of ourselves , and just about every other type of personal or professional information we seem to share on this infrastructure called Cyberspace , we all pretty much have left and submitted all of our personal info and statistics out there in the open for the rest of the world to look in on .
Technology can of course be a very welcome concept , and it enables us to move forward on many aspects ; technologically and as a species . But when is ” Too much Technology ” not good for us ? When it becomes intrusive ? personal ? Invasive ? ….When it simply does not ask our permission ?
Well, thats the thing about ” exterior factors ” which seem to in many respects reign absolute control over our lives which requite no permission from us . Pretty much like Governments …but that is another topic .
At the present moment , the topic on the front burner is : Your Identity on the Web .
Everything which you have at some point in time disclosed onto Social sites, such as : Myspace, WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, Digg, Netvibes, Delicious, and just about 138 Web more sites where you may have submitted information about yourself – Is now out there , AVAILABLE and FREE for any third parties who want to gain access to all your private information !
Yep, all with 2 keystrokes of a keyboard – and a browser Plug In .
Frightening isnt it ? but nonetheless : TRUE and coming to a ‘ Browser near You ! ‘ .
You are literally EXPOSED for every one with plenty of time and sinister plans concerning wreaking havoc on the rest of the www. and a delicate subject matter such as : Online Identity . YOURS .
It can be frightening most assuredly so , however : before you dismiss such a technology , and treat it with hostility negativity & a reluctance , you may want to at first try confronting the ‘ Enemy ‘ and thus : confront your fears / apprehensions… if you will . Technology can in fact be a ” Double Edged Sword ” ; it can either work for you , or against you . It is up to the individual’s discretion and how the individual perceives their use of ‘ power ‘. It all comes down to ‘ Respect ‘ .
We can either respectfully use technology and allow it to serve us within the fundamentally important aspects of our lives and coexist peacefully , or : we abuse power and consequently , this power [ or whatever one chooses to deem it : Technology etc . ] will ultimately turn against us and therefore , destroy us . Recall history , [ Atlanteans ] and that should serve up as a primary example into the abuse of power & Technology .
So, now that I have stated where I stand morally pertaining to the respect of others people’s privacy [ as well as my own ] allow me to inform you about certain features of this so called ” IdentAgent ” and what is able to do .
For beginners , there are the following features :
While Ident Engine is mainly aimed at developers, the team has made a number of cool demos available on its server. The COMBINED PROFILE Demo, for example, looks at a user’s profiles on multiple services and then builds an aggregate profile for the user, based on commonalities it finds in these profiles. The LIFESTREAM demo goes a step further and discovers a user’s profiles on a variety of services and pulls in the latest updates. The project’s homepage also features a number of additional demos.
Glenn Jones also recently released a Firefox plugin, IDENTIFY, which builds on the same premises and allows users to quickly bring up the aggregate profile of any user while looking at one of their regular social network profiles. Simply navigate to the profile page or a blog of an individual you are interested in and on Windows press Alt i or on the Mac press Ctrl i. An entire page pops up full of the individuals online information , media they have on their page , images – you name it .
IDENTITY DISCOVERY Uses Google’s Social Graph API with data from profiles to build the list of identities. Just type in any URL , page youre currently on , and this method will retrieve an individuals other online & Social identities .
PROFILE DISCOVERY Creates a collection of profiles from across the web using identity search, and aggregates images of an individual such as those one may have on Twitter, Technorati , Blogger etc .
COMBINED PROFILE Combines the profile collection together to find the most complete description of an individual .
LIFESTREAMBuilds a lifestream by combining identity search with calls to API endpoints. This Lifestream can be from any social site such as : Facebook, Myspace , MyBlogLog, LastFm,Twitter, Technorati, Delicious, Digg, Blogger etc..
PHOTO PICKERPresents all the profile photo’s of an individual to create a simple photo picker UI. Once you enter a URL such as myspace , twitter, blogger or anywhere you have a picture or an avatar of yourself – all of the images you have across the web will appear – whether youre looking them up or , someone else is ….
IDENT ENGINE presently supports 70 sites and 142 endpoint mappings submitted for your discretion below :
The current release version of IDENT ENGINE is v.0.1.2 and is approximately 405K zip file and comes with all of the proper documentation along with an MIT license which you may read HERE ☜ You can also download the FF Extension ‘ IDENTIFY ‘☛HERE☜and once you download and restart your browser , you will notice a little ” Spy Glass ” at the bottom right of your browser .
As mentioned above : On a Windows you need to press Alt + i ,or on the Mac press Ctrl + i , once you are on a particular site / page and the individuals info will appear in a new window . One of the most interesting aspects of this library is that it gives users a lot of flexibility when they structure their queries. IDENT ENGINE will happily accept full URLs like http://www.twitter.com/rww or just simply ‘twitter.com rww’ or the Webfinger email structure (‘firstname.lastname@example.org’) ; it will basically accept 4 different combinations which a user submits . [ see examples at link above ☝].
I hope this article has been able to shed some light into the new FF Plug In IDENTIFY, and may you all use the power of retrieving other people’s online identities wisely & w/ an ounce of respect .