It is a big day 11-11-11 for many reasons. One is that Personal emerged out of closed beta. Yeah! When I first met and talked with Shane Green, I was so excited because I met a kindred spirit who shared core beliefs with the community around IIW (user-centric identity, VRM etc). I knew after spending 5 hours in 2 days talking to him that with his experience, personal leadership, and the funding they had already secured (from Steve Case and others) that they were going to make a big splash when it finally launched.
As a bonus, the whole topic of Personal Data got coverage in AdAge yesterday mentioning both Personal and Reputation.com in an article:
Why Your Personal Data Is The New Oil
I think the biggest thing Personal has going for it its focus on design and usability. Wire protocols (the technical bits of moving data and formatting it) are easy compared to how people can easily understand, interact with and manipulate the vast range of personal data they have, that is information which is personal TO them - not their tweets and photos that they proactively share, but all the "stuff" they should have a record of somewhere. Their car serial number, passport number, codes to garage doors for baby sitters and the kids allergies that need to be shared with playdates, school and the soccer team.
It is pretty simple when you get started.
1) You can add empty gems and fill them out.
2) You can share them with others... and also revoke permissions.
Anyone who sees a gem you have given access to has to agree to your "control" of the data and that when it is revoked they don't keep a copy of it. They also can't share it with others without your permission (you would give that other party access to your gem if you wanted to share with them).
3) You can look for gems that have already been created by others about things they own or preferences/needs they have.
4) And get the mobile app.
Now that they have launched, I am going to dive in and start playing with gems and sharing relevant ones with friends and colleagues.
Other key items to note are the coming anonymity features they are planning on rolling out.
We believe strongly in your right to remain anonymous when you choose. At present, we only support remaining anonymous when publishing community gems, but will be rolling out new anonymity features in the very near future.