Posts Tagged ‘pipl’

wiki.name.com: Dear WebUpon, Not a threat

May 23rd, 2009

This morning, I was reading WebUpon’s article about wiki.name.com. I think the author is a little bit paranoid.

If you haven’t heard of name.com, they are domain registrar. They have a wiki, which is described as follows:

Welcome to WikiName, the name encyclopedia that you can edit. It’s all about names – name meanings, name origins, name variants – you name it. We’ve got information about baby names, brand names, and all kinds of names. Currently, we’re even compiling a list of every name in the world! This free name resource is powered, inspired and maintained by the community friendly domain registrar, Name.com. Please join our effort by writing about a name subject not yet covered, or adding to an existing article. Muchas gracias.

They have about 9,854 content pages and 4,429,633 total pages. That’s a lot of people potentially swept up in that wiki. The WebUpon article characterizes it as follows:

It’s sounds great doesn’t? Not so fast, because if you have ever published, blogged or used your name on the internet, it could be dangerous for you career wise. If there is only one listing for your name, it may also list your city and age, especially if you have google adsense or are listed on classmates.com. They offer the name for purchase as a domain; all for the low cost of $8.99.

This is just a bit too paranoid. Name.Com is a domain registrar. You’ve always been able to buy domains related to your name since domain names first became available. People have always been able to buy yours. I don’t particularly see what Name.Com is doing as unethical in this regards.

As for the information about you that might end up on a wiki article like Bob Smith? Name.Com’s bot that generates these wiki articles is pulling up only publicly available information. At first glance, this appears to almost be just a wiki version of Pipl, a people search engine. It has similar aggregate data like links to LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites. The only major difference that I can see is that you can edit the page which has your name and there are advertisements to buy domain names that relate to your name on said article.

Concern about pedophiles hijacking your name and ruining it are one thing, but wiki.name.com doesn’t facilitate it. It is just one more site where you need to monitor for the sake of your online reputation. wiki.name.com doesn’t change the picture at all. This type of content has been around for a few years now. The searchability of your name has been around for years. If you’re that concerned about pedophiles using your name and killing your career, monitor the Pipl search, the wiki.name.com page, set up google alerts. It is up to you to protect your privacy by not giving sites like wiki.name.com that information to begin with through online posting.

Pipl: Knowing more about you than you may realize

January 29th, 2009

TechCrunch ran an article about Pipl, a really cool people finding search engine. I’ve known about it for over a year because we get a half dozen visits a month from them. If you ever wanted to know anything about anyone, don’t go to Google, go to Pipl instead.

That said, some corners of fandom has a lot of privacy issues. If you’re concerned about yours, definitely check it out because you might not be aware of how much you’re leaking out that you didn’t know about. That includes public records that governments have made available. And after you’ve done that, go and make sure your fandom friends know so that we people are made aware so there aren’t any future outings like the one in the Supernatural fandom as a result of people’s ignorance about the Internet and how it works.

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