For tech people, if you hear of someone who you might be able to interact with in some way it’s a common habit to reach for the nearest keyboard and search Facebook or LinkedIn or whichever other appropriate tool might be at hand.
But all of these platforms have their drawbacks. Social media sites often don’t let you see all of someone’s information if you are not connected, or they might notify the person that you’ve been looking at their profile.
It is from these realizations that Déa Wilson founded Lifograph, a wiki which currently hosts public information on over 500,000 (and counting) members of the tech community. The Wiki of People, as its tagline goes, is currently focused on Silicon Valley but the intention is to expand geographically and across industries over the next phase of development.
“Many people need deeper information about key players and businesses in their industry for sales, fundraising, recruiting, job leads or to just build their networks,” said Wilson. “With Lifograph, anyone can find the right people to do business with, based on skills, experience, interests and real-life relationships. It’s all about the people. That’s how business gets done.”
The idea is to provide a one-stop-shop location for searching people you are or might be about to do business with. The site will give you everything you need, including information about people’s track records, skills, interests, and relationships. Wilson proposes that the information will be further enhanced by crowdsourcing, via Lifograph’s wiki model, which will require delicate maintenance to ensure credibility.
“This is an early beta,” Wilson said. “We’re constantly adding information to our platform and tweaking our search algorithms to allow people to discover new networks and be discovered by others. We encourage everyone to dive into our platform, add and edit information, give us feedback, and of course, showcase their own accomplishments and the people who have helped them along the way.”
Such things aren’t built overnight, but Lifograph is well on its way. Although Wikipedia still doesn’t claim to be a solid source, one which would not be cited by journalists, it is still a first-stop for most people who just want a brief overview of a given topic. That being said Lifograph will have to be careful when dealing with information concerning people’s reputations, as individuals will get very flustered should it turn out to be incorrect, defamatory or slanderous.
But we don’t get where we want without trying, so try Lifograph must.