Most of us are choosing to share ever more of our lives publicly on the web, on blogs, Flickr, and an ever-expanding array of user-generated content sites. One result of that is that our public identities are becoming ever more fragmented.
Naturally, giving users the ability to create a unified public profile – enriched by some (or all) of their aggregated content stream in Pulse – was something on our product roadmap for later this year.
But a collaboration between our Joseph Smarr and Google’s Brad Fitzpatrick dramatically accelerated the timeline. We jumped when we got the chance to have our public profile pages serve as the flagship example of things made possible by Google’s new Social Graph API, which was just released an hour ago. (See coverage in TechCrunch and ZD Net.) Pulse uses the API to make it easy for you to gather up the various URLs that belong to you all over the public web and use them to create a unified public identity under your control.
As you can see in the above screenshot, this is a totally new kind of public profile for the Social Web. The page is not static; it’s constantly enriched by the aggregated stream of the content you are creating all over the web.
Public profiles are a completly opt-in feature. You’ve got fine-grained control of what content and information you include. And, because the pages are tagged with the appropriate microformats, you can use your Plaxo public profile to assert your public identity in a way that’s readable by Google and other sites. The result is that you have control and portability of your public identity.
This is just a first release. Expect to see us invest a lot more in this area in the coming weeks.
To set up your public profile, go to Pulse, then click on My Profile at the top. Then, on the left-hand side, click on Public Profile.
It’s great to see the building blocks of the Social Web coming together so quickly!
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