Know Your Personas

What do you put on the internet? Do you know? How does the internet see you? These are some questions that have become very important in the last couple years. If you don’t know what the internet thinks about you, try out this little program called Personas.

I was tipped off to this little program by @KevinLoker, a good friend of mine, and I think it’s kind of cool. Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, recently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. Personas spiders the internet and uses its language processor to create a ‘data portrait’ of your online identity.

All you have to do is plug in your name or anyone else’s name for that matter and hit enter. It takes a couple minutes, goes through all of the times your name is mentioned all over the internet. After it’s finished, it gives you a simple portrait of what you look like from the internet.

When I first looked at the output that you get, I was very happy with how simple it is. Then I realized it might be a little bit too simple… I look at my output and check out labels and wonder what some of them are implying. Take the first one for example, ‘Online’. What does that mean? Does that mean the percentage of time from my life I have spent online? Is that the percentage of my life that is out on the web? I’m not quite sure what it means. Or look at maybe the ‘Sports’ label. Is that the amount of times I have been quoted in sports articles? I don’t think so, but I don’t know because they don’t give any meanings to the labels.

But other than those couple labels that you aren’t quite sure what they mean, it’s kind of fun to look at where you make your mark on the internet.

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