Persona: A persona is the mask or appearance one presents to the world. Importantly, the persona, used in this sense, is not a pose or some other intentional misrepresentation of the self to others. Rather, it is the self as self-construed, and may change according to situation and context.
In case you’re wondering what’s all that psychological mumbo jumbo was about, let me introduce you to the Personas Project from MIT. Built by Aaron Zinman, the project, in its online avatar, is a website that takes your name as an input and scours the internet for its traces. Out of the sites and pages that it finds, it picks the keywords best describing them and presents in a ‘weighted image’ – which is your (name’s) persona on the web!
It actually helps if your name is a unique one and you’ve used the same name across different places on the internet. If like me, you’re in the habit of using different monikers at different sites, your profile will be a stunted one! Some of my er…um…aliases threw up rather confusing results: