Search your name in Google. Does all the information you want appear in the results? Probably not, and if it does, it is often scattered through pages of results. This is where a new service called ClaimID comes in. ClaimID is a service that helps you claim and improve your online identity by providing you with your own personal information page. But don’t think it is your average profile service that has you write about yourself, because ClaimID takes a new approach that I think is an excellent concept. You can think of your ClaimID profile as what the creators like to call, a link resume. The idea is simple. You make a page with links that relate to yourself, whether they are your own sites, sites of interest, social profiles, Flickr accounts, or whatever it may be. If it somehow relates to you, put it on. Then the goal is to hopefully search for your name on a search engine and have your ClaimID appear. If one is to view your ClaimID, they will then have a page of links relating to yourself. Much better then going on a scavenger hunt about a person through a search engine!
(Screenshot of profile administration for my profile)
ClaimID has made it very easy for you to create your link resume. You create groups and then you add links to each group much like you would a normal bookmarking service. ClaimID provides a bookmarklet as well to make it even easier for you to just add and go. You can add as many groups as needed to fully describe who you are. For example, you may want to make a group for your websites, family sites, friends, or even user profiles from other websites. Anything that you want someone to know about you, really. So I’ve created a quick profile, although not completed yet. I made a group for personal links, blogs that I visit daily, and music. After a while, you will start to notice that things may get a little out of order, or maybe just aren’t in the order that you would like. That is why ClaimID has made it simple for you to sort any group or link. You simply click on the link to reorder and the groups/links will turn into blocks that you can easily drag and drop to the position that you find best. Definitely came in handy. Another feature that you may want to use are the stars. On each link, you will see a star. If you click on it, the star will continuously change colors. Maybe you just want to associate a color with a link, or maybe use them to signify importance. For example, marking all your work related links with red stars.
Lets talk more about bookmarking with ClaimID. You have two options to bookmark. You can either create a bookmark from inside of your profile, or you can use the bookmarklet to easily add a site as your browsing the internet. Either way, you will get the same form. You fill in the basic information like the address, title, description, and even an option to add tags. But more importantly, you will see two fields that allows you to describe your association to the link by authorship and if the link is about you or not. These two options allow one to easily learn how the site you bookmarked is associated to you. For example, say there is an article about you online that someone wrote. You would say that you are not the author, state who is the author, and mark that the link is about you. That is all there is too it. Once you have added a bookmark, you will see each bookmark listed in their groups with tags, descriptions, and even buttons that allow one to easily search the link in Google, del.icio.us, Technorati, and more.
ClaimID is simple in concept, but when used properly, it may help strengthen your online identity. Next time someone is to search your name, hopefully they will land on your ClaimID page providing them all the sources of information they need to get to know you. For an excellent example, I am going to point you to the creators ClaimID again, Fred Stutzman. He has bookmarks for personal work, projects, academic links, blog coverage, occurrences of himself in the media, and even links to Fred’s that he is not! Packed with information about himself. I am sure you can now see the potential that ClaimID has in managing your online identity. If you were interested, here is my profile. It is not completed yet, but I will be adding to it when I get some time.
ClaimID is currently in private beta and it is unknown when it will be release publicly. If you wanted to give it a try, you can try to signup using my registration key. There should be 4 invites available at the time of posting this. I will see if I can get more.
Update: I’ve been given the Golden Ticket! Use this key to register, 14d95c2dd5b8cf05a5ec8199d28a0b78fd957ed9. It should be good for around 100 invites. Enjoy!
Update (03/13/06): Looks like ClaimID is starting to work! I’ve gotten some referrers to my sites already from it and seems to be working as ClaimID said. Here is a screenshot of Google results for, Brian Benzinger – no quotes.
Not bad for just being active for only a couple of weeks. Solution Watch comes up first, one of my old sites second, and then ClaimID. If someone in search visits the ClaimID, they can then find all sites related to myself and learn who I am. Some were skeptical and questioned how helpful ClaimID really is. Well, here is proof that its working – for me at least. Nice work, ClaimID.