The most important thing to recognize about identity, is that people don’t have one identity. There is not one proﬁle that ﬁts for all the people in their life. People appear differently to different audiences. They act one way with their family, they act another way in work, and they act another way with their best friends.
Half of the top 1000 reviewers on Amazon donʼt use their real name.
People are worried about reciprocation: will that person now go and give me a bad review? They are also worried about repercussions: will the restaurant owner give me a hard time if I return?
One research study found that only 18% of users updated their proﬁle after 24 hours of creating it, and only 12% updated after one week. Without live content that updates regularly, proﬁles quickly become outdated representations.
Allow people to personalize how they appear to others as this helps build their personal identity. Consider how the actions of someone’s connections are displayed relative to their own proﬁle. Give people control over removing the actions and content of other people from their proﬁle.
Research on Facebook usage showed that only 8% of users had left their proﬁle open to anyone searching on the Facebook network, and that 64% of users had adjusted their proﬁle to “only friends.”
The other things: each person is an ecosystem, if herself is not, her friends will turn her into an ecosystem! When looking at influences, it’s important to consider both influencer and influenced. Finally, it shows how important it is to do research.