Establishing an online identity is really quite hard. For instance, until around a week ago if you performed a Google search on the keyword “Mitch Malone” I would come up as the top 10 search results. I am unsure of what has changed, but now suddenly someone from a drilling program who shares my name is number 1. Secondly, I had once owned the domain name www.mitchmalone.com and let it expire and now it’s some kind of bogus flower shop. I’m honestly not phased by either of these, but it raises a point; who knows the real me from the other Mitch Malone or some bogus website? Enter ClaimID!
Straight from the ClaimID about page; ClaimID is a service that lets you claim the information that is about you online. That information is then associated with your name, providing folks an easy way to see what is and isn’t about you online. Simply put, you make a page that lists all your pages, simple huh? And once the site grows much larger, it will make it easy to find anyone who wishes to be searchable.
So let’s take a few seconds to have a look why it’s such a big deal to a geek like me by listing websites that are associated with my ClaimID account and the ones that are not my own. Firstly, let’s start with my websites:
- My online curriculum vitae. **
- This website *
Not in use, but still mine Not in use, but still mine
- My Flickr Account *
- w00t Forums!
- My deviantART account *
- My Listal account, I don’t use it much though
- Sites near me
- My book review of Dancing Barefoot
And a few sites that aren’t mine, but still show up in the top 10 list of results:
- IODP-USIO: Contact us: Staff Directories: Mitch Malone *
- Got Flowers? Quick & easy steps to getting your gal flowers, today! *
- Ocean Drilling Program: Science Services: Mitch Malone *
And then the websites about me that I didn’t know existed:
- Adactio Elsewhere: Small pieces of me, loosely joined *
- Re: Possible Bug Report from Mitch Malone on 2004-08-09 *
* Denotes a webpage that is listed in the top 10 results of searching Google for my name
** Deontes top 20
So we start noticing some major problems in just punching in my name into Google. Firstly we notice that the most major website, the one that uses my name (http://www.mitchmalone.name/) doesn’t even list in the top 10. This site in my opinion when searching by a name should always come up first, regardless of relevancy since it is a name search and not a keyword search. Perhaps Google will concider this in the future?
So what gives? The solution is simple, check out my Claim ID Profile (http://claimid.com/MitchMalone)! It lists the websites that are about me and that I know of and verify that are about me. Some of the sites are verified for authenticity by me adding code into them, some of them are sites I have no control over the code, but regardless it’s a way of verifying if something you are viewing is about me.
If you want to protect your online security, go register at ClaimID, they are currently allowing free memberships still I believe and it’s a fantastic way to ensure that the next time your boss finds your name associated with a well-hung porn star he knows it’s not you – unless of course that’s your thing.