A thought that has been on my mind these past few days and that I thought I’d finally try to put down in writing, maybe in an attempt to sort out my ideas, and save them for future reference.
The thing is that on most of these web services where you have to setup your profile; whether it be a social networking site, a job site, or any other kind of service; and even offline; whether it be a CV, a business card or presentation; you always end up with a one dimensional profile of yourself, just one way of presenting yourself from just one point of view.
But is that enough?
Are we as humans really that simple, straightforward or even that dull?
I don’t really think so.
We exist in different contexts and move around in different circles in our everyday lives, and it’s impossible to believe that one profile totally covers us and describes us best everywhere, every time, with everyone.
Personally, at my current job, in professional meetings, IT discussions, and generally in that IT related context, I’m the product development manager who has years of experience in the field.
When I’m with a certain group of my friends, I’m a passionate photographer, who’s always trying out new techniques, playing around with new perspectives and building up a portfolio of interesting shots.
With others in different contexts like meetups, some conferences, some interviews; I’m known as a blogger, Subzero Blue, one of the first Tunisian bloggers, who has been blogging for years now and in some way or another helped spread blogging in Tunisia.
These are all different points of view that show a different side to the same person; and there are still more now; there were others before and there’ll be others to come.
So are the simple profile systems we have in place today truly representative of who we are as human beings?
Of course, if you’re already in a specialized context, then that’s no problem, you’re going to choose the profile that fits the most; but when it comes to more general services, it’s just not enough.
Simply put, the same person can answer the same question “Who are you?” with a range of different answers depending on the situation, the context, the where, and the when.
Profiling systems just have to take all those different answers into consideration.