I’ve been thinking lately about how profiles relate to blogging relates to identity relates to knowledge management. Among other things :)
I don’t actually think that social networking sites are in opposition to blogging – that’s just not the right way to see it (although not being able to link directly and the “registration firewall” around sites is a detriment). Many bloggers say that their blog and their blogroll describe all the “social network” they ever want or need. You can definitely get a good idea about a person and their ideas by reading their blog over time, and seeing who else they read. But that is a process, something that takes time (on your part). An “About Me” page is of course good, but how do you compare or relate one person’s “About Me” page to someone else’s? In essence, you might even ask how you search for a “person” directly?
And does reading/linking to someone’s blog mean that you know them? Or imply any sort of relationship between you (other than you enjoy reading their material)?
So, the way I see it is that a person’s blog is the tacit representation of their identity (which naturally evolves and changes over time). A profile can be seen as a structured way of doing an “About Me” page, a way to make some details about themselves explicit. Using a structured, open format (as we are in the process of creating at Zerendipity) means that this information can be compared, categorized, and searched. I also see it useful in the context of a “living CV” or resume. More on this soon.
I also recently got called a “social hacker”. I like that. So, new slogan for BMC.
Blogging = Tacit Representation of Identity Profile = Explicit Representation of Identity