Like the calling card in days of yore, the nameplate website can function as the summation of your online identity – a URL you can use as your email signature, or part of your business card, etc. It is designed and controlled entirely by you. If you’re the type who spends a lot of time on the internets for your work, your hobbies, maybe your freelance projects, you might want to consider setting up a one-pager on About.me or Flavors.me. Consider it your web business card, and use this space to explain who you are, what you do, and where to find you regarding each of those contexts. You can link to this page from every single thing you do online, making it the first search result that will come up for your name. The nameplate will make you Googleable with a site containing information under your control.
The only pitfall with a hosted site such as About.me is that there is always the potential that the site will go kaput and the domain will disappear. If you have the means and the time, consider setting up and controlling your own domain to give your site the staying power and security level you desire. Like a blog, you can also purchase the domain through Flavors.me (and soon through About.me), so that you can design your site through their interface but still maintain ownership of the domain name. This is a great option if you don’t have the skills or wherewithal to design your own website. Or you can go totally custom and purchase the domain directly Like me, you may currently have a blog or a web-based business that sufficiently represents your online identity. This may be enough without having a nameplate site. Or perhaps, if you go the custom route, your nameplate site could be your homepage, linking to all of your other involvements.
There are more and more people coming online every minute – some of whom share your name, so do what you can to brand yourself uniquely online. I’m working on a bio for my about.me site now, will link to it when I have it in a place that I don’t hate.
If you’re concerned about username ownership, the following article might be useful to you:
For more information on Lifehacker-voted 5 best professional nameplate sites, here you go:
Even more detailed “how to” information regarding nameplates: