There are lots of people trying to solve the problem of online identity. How do you find someone if they don’t already have a strong web presence? Facebook, Google and LinkedIn profiles all tend to do well in search engine rankings but they rely on people wanting to put their information onto those specific services.
This UK-based company wants to build a search engine optimised “global address book”. The idea being that people enter your name into Google and the site’s SEO is so good that the WikiWorldBook entry rises to the top. From there they can find you via any contact details and social profile links you’ve entered.
.Tel offers a similar service via your own custom domain, although that costs money. WikiWorldBook’s real competition in the this still emerging space is another UK startup, OnePage. Both services are free and offer the ability for users to send messages to someone directly via their contact page without that person ever having to give out their email address.
At present, OnePage’s design looks a little slicker but aside from that they’re level pegging for features. Both plan to expand into paid-for premium services in the future. WikiWorldBook currently runs ads against profiles while OnePage remains ad free.
The main difference between the two services is that while OnePage is aiming to replacing users’ business cards by allowing them to to give out a short OnePage address instead, WikiWorldBook is taking the more risky route of using SEO to make people findable. Both approaches could find success, although the ever changing rules of SEO (thanks to Google’s continued tweaks to its algorithm) could make WikiWorldBook’s task a little more challenging.