Searching Google for the title of this post, surprised me as it only returns 63 exact matches. It was first defined in Wikipedia in June 2005, and according to Google Trends the subject of on-line identity received almost no interest until the end of 2005. Since then, however, Google Trends shows a sharp increase in the interest in the subject, as well as the somewhat related topic of ID theft.

For the purpose of this post, an on-line identity is represented by the information about any given person, that is discoverable through a search engine, e.g. Google. That subset of personal information is very interesting as it largely determines the immediate knowledge other people and organizations are able to learn about you, and consequently, by controlling and shaping that information, the on-line impression you give others can be controlled.

Controlling your on-line impression or identity is becoming increasingly important e.g. to prevent other people from spreading misinformation about you, or to present a fuller picture of you to a potential employer.

For the purpose of this post I’ll assume that only one identity is needed. Indeed, this may often not be the case, as I’ll soon expand on in another post.

Building The Online Profile

An effective on-line identity may be built in a two simple steps:

  1. Create a profile that explains your facts (ID profile) on a website like ClaimID
  2. Create a couple of profiles that says something about you (content profiles) on websites like Flickr or LinkedIn, and link to these from your ID profile.”

Chances are that you already have one or more content profiles, andthat you just need to create an ID profile, and link to these.My favorite ID sites include:

Other content profiles can be created on sites like:


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11 June 2007