Blog of Wade Making Connexions

Managing Multiple Identities Online

Why can’t we easily manage multiple identities online? We’ve all heard about facebook and myspace costing people their jobs due to their company reading what is only for their friends. We want to share with our friends and workmates, but we want to do this selectively. Someone who’s not logged in, not on any network, perhaps they get an even more limited view of your identity.

Flickr allows for friends, family, and public, which is great, but it’s still tied to ONE UserID. Creating multiple UserID’s is a pain, always logging in and out of one account, and into another. Cookies can be set to keep one user logged in, but then to change over it’s again log-out acct 1, log-in acct 2, log-out acct 2, log-in acct 1.

Humans are diverse, we don’t have one image, one profile, one train of thought. We are unique snow flakes, to bastardise Fight Club, we contain many different parts making up the entity called “Me”. Yet online, we are forced to go through 4+ steps to share in a diverse way, or we aggregated, or don’t post at all. The new breed of services such as Twitter, Tumblr, Del.icio.us, and Pownce are built under philosophies of Openness, User Centered focus, and Joy of Use. I don’t understand how the humans who developed these services didn’t see this as humans, let alone as employees following the above philosophies, also known as Web2.0.

To me the solution’s a bit of a no-brainer, and I’m amazed it’s not originally built into any/all of these services/applications;

The login remains as normal for most users, but also allows advanced users to create another profile within, and from that point, the login becomes the overview, allowing the user to select which destination to post to. A drop down containing which site to post to is another option, even a check box would work. Anything that allows differentiation works, yet none have it natively.

Twitterrific, a Twitter OS X client almost nails it, but still requires me to quit and restart the application to change accounts, but supports multiple account within the program.

Now I ask you, why can’t we easily manage multiple identities online?


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