At the last count, I had 14 profiles on different web sites. I'm not talking about the type that just say "tell us about yourself"; I mean full blown profiles where you describe your experience, what you do, and basically express your personal brand.
I've thought for a long thime that what the world of online personal branding needs is a service that lets you feed all those from a single source. In the days of XML and RSS and all those other TLAs that mean something about passing information between sites you, you'd think it would be easy.
The matter has been brought into even clearer focus this week, because I'm moving offices. So I nowface the prospect of going into every one of those profiles to see which ones have my office address, and updating it. Wouldn't it be great to have a single dashboard where I could log in, make the change, press the button, and *abracadabra* all my profiles changed at once.
When I heard about new startup Nombay.com I thought my prayers might be answered.
The promise is enicingly simple: "Enter your name into the Nombray search engine and register the various available combinations of vanity URL available. (For example, a search for my name returns GinaTrapani.name, GinaTrapani.us, GTrapani.com, etc.) Then, register the URLs of your choice for $20 apiece, and use Nombray’s simple web page designer and hosting service to link to the various social networks and profiles you’ve set up across the web." So I took a look.
First problem: I already own my name domain, RobCuesta.com, so why would I want to buy another one? Strike one.
Next: as far as I can see, all they do is create a page with tabs for each of the profiles you have online. It's a shop window only. There's no way, as far as I could see from the limited access I had, to update the profiles from Nombray. Strike three.
Finally: both of the above are pure conjecture. You see the only way to log into the Nombray system is to buy a domain name through them. And, like I said, I already own my own domain, so why would I buy another one and start confusing my brand? Strike three. You're out!
So, as you've probably guessed, I'm not impressed. As far as I can see, all the system does is let you buy a named domain and then set up links to all the profiles you have online. I'm sure Nombray would say that then you only need to give people one domain and they can find out everything about you. I already do that: I say "Google me" 🙂
If you dont' already have a domain then I guess it's a good way to start. My worry is what happens later, when you decide you'd like to have a proper website at johndoe.com instead of a bunch of profiles. Can you buy the domain back from Nombray? How much will it cost? And how easy will it be to get control back? If I was looking at Nombray I'd want those questions answered before I handed over my money.