Want to add a novel twist to your vanity searches? Personas is an art installation that turns a vanity search of your name in a spectrum of keywords associated with it.
While the end product, the spectrum seen in the screenshot above, is interesting, the most interesting part of Personas is watching it work. After you enter your name, you can see it crunching the text selections from the Google search results. If you have a name like Jason Fitzpatrick—both Jason and Fitzpatrick are extremely common names and nearly as common when linked together—your results will be a little muddled. While a good 75% of the quotes that flew by were from me (thanks to the popularity of Lifehacker) many of them were from my namesake dopplegangers: a diving coach, a metal sculptor, an actor, a prisoner in a federal penitentiary, a museum curator. As I said, the process itself is quite interesting.
If you have a less common name and/or a name well distinguished in the virtual world you'll get a much more accurate piece of experimental artwork. I commandeered our own Gina Trapani's name for my second test run, because not only have I never come across anyone with her name, but she has a very strong web presence. Watching the Personas engine work confirms this; if there was a single quote that flew by that wasn't directly related to her, it snuck past me. Below are the results for her name:
Personas certainly won't produce a court-admissible fingerprint of your online identity, but it is a very novel way to perform a vanity search of your name and get an overview of how search engines see your name and the associated keywords within the pages it is found.
Know of any other fun analysis tools online? Share the wealth in the comments.