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 and Retaggr, which can help us to keep things organized and assemble together all of the parts that make up our online brand, are only going to become more popular.
Charles liked the wide array of services you could claim with DandyID, along with its handy Facebook integration. I’ve been a user of DandyID for a while now, so I wanted to dig a bit deeper into what it has to offer and what differentiates it from the other providers in this space that I’ve looked at.
The thing I find most intriguing about DandyID is that it’s much more than just a list of services. It’s part of a grander scheme to facilitate a single point of entry for information that can be used all across the social web. DandyID has a well-developed API (Application Programming Interface) that enables other applications to communicate directly with your DandyID profile. So while on the surface it appears simple, there is a huge opportunity for integration between services here.
Imagine a profile that is entered in one place and then used automatically across all of your services. Make a change in one place, and it updates all of your linked profiles automatically. Add a new service to DandyID, and a site like FriendFeed could automatically get notified to add a new item to your profile feed. The geek in me is tremendously excited about the possibilities of this; I’d love to see more sites enable this DandyID functionality.
The API has already been used to power the SNUM — Social Network User Mapper, a nifty Firefox add-on that will tell you what networks a person belongs to as you encounter them on the web. A Ubiquity command is also available.
DandyID lets you verify your identity with some services to confirm that you are actually who you say you are. Using the authentication functionality built into Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite, Flickr, MySpace and YouTube, you can confirm that the external accounts you are linking to are indeed yours. There is nothing to stop people from claiming an ID, but the verification is a nice level of extra assurance.
With an upgrade to the Pro service ($4.99 month) you gain access to some useful statistics, such as how often people are clicking through to your various profiles and which sites are driving traffic through to your ID.
Another powerful statistic allows you to see which services are being used by (and therefore are most relevant to) your contacts. This is useful because it allows you to focus your social media efforts to more efficiently engage with your contacts on the services that they are using.
These analytic tools are useful, but I’d like to have it easier to access — a daily summary email or RSS notification would be great.
Overall, I am tremendously impressed with the DandyID service. I’m also excited by the opportunities that more widespread adoption of it could bring.
How do you bring all your Social Web IDs together and manage them?