Guest Post: Your Online Identity Part 3 – What Works Today?

Guest Post: Your Online Identity Part 3 – What Works Today?

I often say that one of my blog post is based on a conversation “with a friend”.  When I do that, as often as not that friend is Bojan Soldan.  I have had the pleasure of working with Bojan on several projects and can think of no one’s opinion who I respect more in the fields of social media, gaming and design.  The great news for those of you who don’t get to talk to him as often as I do is that he’s decided to bring those opinions (and some of his artwork) to the worldwide web in the form of his new blog, blog.BojanSoldan.com.  His first technology related posts will be a fantastic seven part series about having a true online identity, and what that might mean for us, the end users.  I’ll be cross-posting that first series here over the next couple weeks for your enjoyment, but for the rest of his work you’ll have to visit him at www.BojanSoldan.com.

This is part 3 of a 7 part series:

Today we do have some semblance of identity, but it is linked to accounts and user names in various environments. On eBay for example, your account and reputation are incredibly important. People review the sellers on eBay using a number of criteria, such as speed of shipment, responsiveness to questions, whether the product arrived as advertised, and the quality of the packaging. Buyers are reviewed based primarily on speed of payment, and how easy they are to work with. When choosing from whom to buy, it is almost a no-brainer to opt for the person with the higher rating percentage, and more sales.

Your email account is another trusted form of identity. When I receive a note from my boss, my mother, or one of my friends whose email accounts I know, I’m far more likely to open them than an email from an unidentified source such as mragagrae8879707@hotmail.com offering me a great deal on a new vehicle. Just like our real addresses or cell phone numbers, emails can change, but they do so infrequently, and as a result are treated as a reliable means of communication with your contacts.

Amazon.com and iTunes are other great examples, not for communication purposes but with the way they handle your accounts. Based on previous purchases with them (data which they have every right to keep and analyze) they can recommend other products that users similar to your buying patterns have also bought. I find this an incredibly useful feature and have ended up with many a book or CD that I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise. As a result, iTunes and Amazon use my account information to directly provide value to me. In a similar manner, Facebook recommends you friend people with whom your friends are also connected. As a result, you can expand your network, and find people you may have forgotten from your past (which may or may not be a good thing).

There are tons of examples out there, and I’d have a hard time getting into the details of each one, but each of these is simply a stepping stone to what the future will bring.