How well does the Internet know you? I’m sure we’ve all googled ourselves at one time or another. The results from search engines can be a bit messy. If you want a more elegant depiction of how you’re represented on the Interwebs, give Personas a try.

Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display until Sept 09 at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab (Please contact us if you want to show it next!). It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one’s aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.

Here are my Persona results.


It doesn’t tell you where the results come from, so it’s kind of a fun game to guess what your persona is based on.

  • Books – probably from a recording I did of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture book, as well as work I did for The University of Iowa Libraries
  • Sports – I’m no sports hero, but maybe this is from SCUBA sites?
  • Committees – I’ve served on my fair share
  • Education – I’ve been working for higher eduction off an on for quite a few years
  • Movies – I like movies (?)
  • News – I read news (?)
  • Legal – not sure
  • Social – I guess I’m social.
  • Art – I have an art minor, and have done work on art web projects in the past.

That is my best guess on interpreting how the results. How does the Internet see you?


gravatar David Rubright

I tried it a couple times, not sure what it means, interesting idea though there are more than one DRs online. I liked the way that it presented the data it was relating you to.

gravatar Daniel Stout

This works best if you have a unique name. There are four or five other guys named Daniel Stout who are active online — a professor, a web designer, a bodybuilder, a chef, etc. I noticed that it was processing text related to some of these other people. So my persona came up as quite complex, but it’s really a synthesis of several people with the same name.

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