The Personas Project From MIT Is All Kinds Of Cool


Go here and put your name in the box. Just do it. It’s awesome.

The project, called Personas, comes from the MIT Media Lab built by Aaron Zinman. Basically, it takes your name and searches the web for some context around it. It then takes the words and sites it finds to build a profile of your presence on the web. Or in MIT-speak using words like “corpus”:

Enter your name, and Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person – to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile.

Simply put, Personas represents the way the web sees you (or more specifically, your name). Of course, if someone has the same name as you, the results will vary, but for someone with a name like mine, it works very well. Basically, it says that “online” dominates my life, while I’m also associated with sports and books. Not really sure about the books part, but I am really into movies, perhaps it mistook some of my talk about a certain movie for me talking about the corresponding book (but there is a movies section as well).

But the process of it scouring the web for you name is probably actually cooler than the result. Watch it in action in the video below.