MIT’s Personas Project Is Cool, But Limited In Usefulness

The Social Media Group of the MIT Media Lab put together what really amounts to an art exhibit that melds data mining of the Internet and natural language processing to produce an graphical snapshot of your online identity.

It’s neat the first time you watch as the dynamic animation crunches through the data that it finds associated with your name, but it has limited value to me, as it just spits out a colored bar divided up based on where you ‘spend’ your time online.

Obviously they didn’t make it to be shared or re-used very much. There could easily be a mechanism to save the generated image or point someone else to the page. Or perhaps tooltips for what each section means in more detail. Better still would be a listing of some of the websites where the system found your name up in lights.