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Summary:

As social networks have proliferated, it’s sometimes hard to remember where one’s online identities may be found. And if you have a common name, as I do, people sometimes can’t tell which Charles Hamilton I am. (No, I’m not a rap artist!) Thus, there are a […]

social-network-iconsAs social networks have proliferated, it’s sometimes hard to remember where one’s online identities may be found. And if you have a common name, as I do, people sometimes can’t tell which Charles Hamilton I am. (No, I’m not a rap artist!)

Thus, there are a number of sites that are intended to help put all of your online presences in one place. I’ve tried a few of these aggregators. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so check them out, and see which options might work for you.

DandyID

DandyID-logoOf the services I discuss here, DandyID is the easiesDandyID-Facebook-Appt to set up, because it doesn’t try to do too much. This is a simple service that creates an online profile showing your name, bio, contact information, web links, and your online identities. You can specify your online identity for over 330 social networks, including sites from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and Poland. Plus, you can add sites not on its list.

When you first sign up, DandyID has an option for importing contacts from services like Gmail, although the import failed for me, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to try again. I’m not sure what advantage you get from importing your contacts, anyway.

The profile page DandyID creates is very basic and not very customizable. But Facebook users may choose DandyID because it offers a very nice app that allows you to embed your online presences into your Facebook page.

RetaggrRetaggr-logo

Retaggr bills itself as “the modern day equivalent of a business card.” Aliza wrote about this service last year, and noted how it had improved a few months later.

When you sign up, you’re taken to a well-designed form where you provide Retaggr with information about yourself, and about the places you have online presences. I counted over 180 different social networks, and you can add sites not listed. (Apparently, you can import some of this information if you have a FriendFeed account, but that option didn’t work for me.) You can also add information about groups with which you are affiliated, and widgets allowing people to IM you directly.

Retaggr-Profile-CardYou get three ways of displaying the information you’ve entered:

  • A profile page on the Retaggr site (and which can be used with a custom domain name if you buy its premium service). The page can be set to display your status from Twitter and Facebook, blog entries and even pictures from Flickr.
  • A virtual “business card” that can be embedded almost anywhere on the web, and in email signatures.
  • An “add me” button that can be used to encourage others to connect with you.

ClaimID

claimID-logoWhile you can use ClaimID to list your profiles on social networks, the site is really about aggregating any web page or site that you wish to “claim,” either as author or subject. This is done by adding MicroID code to the web pages in question to show you have access to them.

So instead of offering you a list of social networks, as DandyID and Retaggr do, ClaimID offers a “Post to ClaimID” bookmarklet that you install in your browser, then click it whenever you want to add a site to your ClaimID page. You can then organize the links into categories and annotate them as you wish.

This site might be a good way for, say, writers or web developers to put together a portfolio, although if you don’t need ownership verification, it would be easy to produce a similar-looking site with basic web page editing tools.

GizaPage

GizaPage - LogoAs Scott discussed recently, GizaPage‘s concept is simple: One URL displays a series of tabs showing the social network sites you select. Web developers will recognize that this is essentially a “Web 2.0″ version of HTML frames, with options that allow the GizaPage owner to select who gets to see what. I like the concept, but the site seems often to be slow and buggy for me. But it has potential, and is definitely worth watching.

Chi.mp

Chi.mp-logoBy far the most comprehensive option for managing online identities is Chi.mp, which Darrell recently wrote about. Read his review for details; I’ll just say that Chi.mp offers many options that none of the above services do, notably:

  • A custom domain name as a standard feature (optional with Retaggr).
  • The ability to show different information to public, work and home groups.
  • Some customization of the site’s template.
  • Twitter-like posting of status and images.
  • Contact management (Chi.mp calls it the “Ultimate Black Book”).

Because Chi.mp has so many features, it takes more setting up than the other options, and, I suspect, more maintenance. But it may be an attractive option for those who need a hub for their web presences, and are willing to spend the time to use its features to the fullest.

Conclusion

There are a number of other services for aggregating social network identities. Many of these products are in beta, or just don’t seem to work very well. I’ve tried a few, and will hold my opinions until we see how they develop. Like the social networking field itself, I’m sure that the best services will survive, and others will fade away.

For now, though, I found Retaggr to be the most useful service for managing online identities, although signing up for DandyID may be worth it just for the Facebook app.

How do you manage your social identities?

  1. What about http://www.google.com/profiles/guercheLE and
    http://my.mashable.com/guerchele for aggregating identities and https://lastpass.com/ for managing passwords?


    Luciano Evaristo Guerche (Gorše)
    Taboão da Serra, SP, Brazil

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  2. Charles, thank you for including DandyID in this post. Per your feedback, we’ve added a “Discover & Invite Contacts” button to the side bar so that you can access the invite page. Adding contacts on DandyID becomes more valuable if you have a Pro account, which gives you access to “Social Analytics” that allow you to discover where your contacts exist and which social networks are most important to them. I also wanted to let everyone know that we offer a very popular WordPress plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/dandyid-services/); it does essentially the same thing that our Facebook app does (except within WordPress). In addition, all of our widgets (Facebook, WordPress, etc.) are “Stats Enabled” which gives Pro users the ability to track the impact of their online presence and how people are engaging them online.

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  3. [...] there’s quite a few websites aiming to do just that! Charles Hamilton over at Web Worker Daily wrote a great piece on some of the best options [...]

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  4. Great ideas. One of my recent favorites is extendr. http://extendr.com Helpful to placeholder for all of my links and I use it on all of my email signatures.

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  5. [...] your social media profiles, you may want to check out Web Worker Daily’s recent post about Options for Managing Many Online Identities. Charles Hamilton recommends several helpful aggregators such as DandyID which is a simple service [...]

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  6. I subscribed to both Retaggr and Gizapage but to be honest, I don’t really promote either of the two (by that I mean that I don’t use Retaggr in my email signature).

    Instead, I direct people straight to my blog and/or website. I build a site at ricardobueno(dot)com that I use as a sort of central hub for where people can find me online. I think that’s much cleaner than something like Gizapage though Gizapage is still pretty cool…

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  7. Thanks Ricard for your comment on GizaPage.

    GizaPage.com is shortly rolling out new features that will allow users to customize their identity and have complete control over how they present themselves online.We’ll share these new features with you very shortly.

    BTW, we checked out your site and are happy to say that you will be able to configure your GizaPage in a similar way with our forthcoming feature introductions.We would love to have your feedback on those :).

    Cheers

    Vijay
    http://vijay.gizapage.com

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  8. [...] The folks at Chi.mp are giving these names away as part of their service, which I mentioned, and Darrell reviewed, a while back. If you don’t want to use the Chi.mp service, .mp names [...]

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  9. [...] online personas can be a challenge. As Charles wrote recently, there are a variety of options for managing many online identities, and yesterday one of them, GizaPage, which I wrote about back in May, released several new [...]

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  10. [...] No Comments In a great post from a couple of weeks ago, Charles wrote about some options for managing many online identities. As we branch out and use more and more services on the social web, sites like DandyID, GizaPage [...]

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