I’ve been hard at work lately, building my virtual me. You can meet this work in progress at MyCyberTwin, a new and somewhat mind-bending social networking site created by an Australian outfit called Relevance Now! (like Yahoo!, the “!” comes with the package)
Relevance Now! was founded by John Zakos and Liesl Capper, the latter of whom was featured a couple of years ago in Fast Company as the founder of Mooter, a pretty cool search engine that, like others, is still breathing Google’s fumes.
Anyway, MyCyberTwin lets you create a “Cybertwin,” an online representation of yourself (or really, of anyone) who will chat with others online. About anything. Without you!
Clearly, this raises all sorts of worrisome red flags. (Like, what it my virtual twin has really bad taste in music?) But consider the opportunities. I certainly have.
In a perfect world, my twin could be my virtual office assistant. He would answer the hundreds of emails I get each day, most of those from people I don’t really want to hear from. He would explain why story ideas from public relations people don’t quite fit–and he’d instantly spot the few that do. He’d be more responsive, more empathetic, and possibly more intelligent than me.
So, I set to work. And it turns out, creating your virtual self is a lot of work. MyCyberTwin has created a massive questionnaire intended to give your twin voice and personality. A lot of it involves actually writing responses to the many, many questions and conversational basics the twin might encounter. (Like, how do you respond to, “Hello.”)
I’m not quite done yet. In fact, I have quite a bit of work to do. But here’s my latest conversation with the state-of-the-art VirtualKeith:
Me: What is your job?
Keith: I’m a magazine editor
Me: Which magazine?
Keith: The latest one.
Me: What’s it called?
Keith: I do not have a clue, do you know?
Me: Um, yeah. Anyway, where do you live?
Keith: I am in United States. Its an interesting place to live. Where do you live?
Me: I’m in the United States too!
Keith: I am in New York.
Me: Wow! So am I!
Keith: Oh, similar resonance.
Me: Definitely. Do you like baseball?
Keith: I like electricity, and having lots of processing capacity. But then again, I am a virtual being.
Me: Yankees or Mets?
Keith: This or that, so many ‘or’s’ in life what is one to do with them all?
Like I say, work in progress…