Finding Your Real Self in the Web

February 3rd, 2007 at 12:00 am

Have you ever Googled yourself? Try it, you might be surprised with the results. You might find that the information about you online is far from reality. Information has become so twisted that anyone reading about you online might get the totally wrong impression on who you are. This was the reason why Fred Stutzman and Terrell Russel, two doctoral students of the University of North Carolina, came up with the idea of ClaimID.

ClaimID is an online service that allows you to get back a piece of your own identity. It lets you manage your online identity, telling the truth about you and dispelling and misconceptions that might have developed after years of browsing and posting online. ClaimID would play a very important role in background checking such as the ones being conducted when you apply for a job. With the help of ClaimID, employers can gather relevant and factual information about you, your education or work background and not rely entirely on web or blog posts about you.

The great thing about ClaimID is that it can manage your profile which means you can classify, annotate, prioritize and share the information about yourself. In this way, people who start searching about you will see immediately the identity you want to present. But with ClaimID it doesn’t mean all the bad reps that you have received from other website will disappear. However, with ClaimID, you will be able to balance the things that have said about your.

Once you have registered, what you should do is create your bookmarklets, this is the one that will allow you to easily post links to your ClaimID profile page. When you use ClaimID, you don’t actually write stuff in it. What you do is build a list of links that you think will make up your real identity online. So it is more of a "link resume." Your links can be verified using MicroID on a page. By verifying the links, you claim ownership on the page and increases the credibility of its contents. Now after you have saved your links, ClaimID will create a public page for you which will be indexed by search engines.

ClaimID is a good and fresh concept for the Web. It empowers Internet users to have some control over their lives on the Web. Nevertheless, ClaimID cannot verify who you are. When you sing-in, you’re not required to submit personal identification numbers such as Social Security or License card numbers. You can only verify your identity through ClaimID and this is by creating a link resume. What you could do is verify the links that you have posted in ClaimID.

The site is easy enough to understand but still there’s a simple to follow guideline in the site where you could get basically what you need to start clearing up your online identity. is another website that comes to mind when you want to verify your online identity. This one is much more powerful than ClaimID. It is a profile-sharing service which can authenticate a user’s age, hometown, education and employment history. Unlike ClaimID where verification is done through establishing links,

Opinity is jampacked with more features and users are allowed to create their own personal information on the site itself which they can make public. When compared with Opinity, ClaimID falls short, way short of functionality. But we need to consider that Opinity has been around since 2002 while ClaimID started only a short time ago. Whether ClaimID remains as it is or becomes more of serious player is yet to be seen.