I May Have Multiple Personalities but I Have Only One Identity

counteractively … at least from a physical point of view, I am unique and have only one identity. The representation of that identity in various systems is a different story. I have, at last count, over 80 userid/password pairs I maintain, each associated with a different profile. Thankfully, I have only 3 home addresses to remember, and there is a synchronization mechanism between those profiles that happens in my head.

Many companies/service providers would love to “own” all or most profiles — a captive audience they can monetize. Most accumulate users through the offering of free services — gmail, hotmail, facebook, linkedin, and users seem more than happy to have split or multiple Internet personalities (see (“List of social networking websites” on Wikipedia) and add the membership numbers…).

Now let’s expand the discussion to a business ecosystem, usually comprised of thousands of people working for hundreds of companies. Any company would benefit from knowing their profiles — so it can communicate/collaborate better.

Should a company aggregate/federate profiles that partners have out there (facebook, linkedin, etc) or does it create its own directory?