Last Spring I created a profile on Ziki, one of the many social networking sites to come on the scene in recent years. Ziki was new, and given my interest in social nets, I was curious to check it out.
Back then, Ziki was dubbed "the first open social network connecting people based on who they are, what they're interested in, and what they're looking for." This site was (and still is) all about syndication, rather than publication. Whereas other social networks encourage members to publish original content, Ziki's role was to aggregate your content from other sources (blog posts, del.icio.us links, and Flickr pools, for example) and neatly syndicate the feeds all in one place. I liked the simple layout and "Web 2.0" functionality it employed (tagging, in particular), and even connected with a few folks who have similar interests (very easy to do given the tags).
But I was interested to see a post on PSFK this week announcing a new service from Ziki which helps members "optimize your online visibility." In fact, it's not just a service, but an entire repositioning of the Ziki brand. Note the catchy tagline they've added to their logo:
Here's how it works: the first 10,000 members to respond can take advantage of an offer whereby Ziki will bid on your name in Google, Yahoo! and MSN, thereby assuring your Ziki page comes up high in the rankings. The offer is limited to $10/person worth of sponsored links over a 1 year period. It's unclear what happens after you exceed those limits, but presumably they will move to a paid model (I'm assuming this is more than just a marketing stunt to get the Ziki name out there, given the new tagline...but who knows).
The company now refers to itself as "a new type of service dedicated to people and companies who want to get their image under control and promote themselves over the internet."
As for MyZiki, they are currently processing my request; it will be interesting to see if I'm able to bump the Stephanie Rogers Band out of the top spots!
UPDATE via AdPulp: another startup called ClaimID lets you classify, annotate, prioritize and share the information about you found online, so that people who search for you are able to see the identity you want to present.