Yesterday I had a flatwarming. It was great and stuff, and there was alcocustard, and mead, and cake. I think it went well. Today we went to Forbidden Planet and I accidentally an art shop, then we went to a pub with a tree inside it for food, then some people went home and other people went to collect cars and meet at the pub later. I went back to the flat, so as to as to recover my cope before heading to the pub to socialise again.

(People are great, I like people. I need gaps of no-people between lots-of-people).

So I’m sitting in our flat at my computer, the view behind it over the football fields of Hackney Downs, and I check Google Reader with some trepidation, as I’ve not done so for a couple of days. The flat is silent save for the whirr of the server fans, all is quiet, all is peace. There’s a message on the screen.

“One new person is following you”

For a short amount of time, the terminology of our new Social Internet hits me at the wrong angle. They’re following me? Why? How did they get my address? I can’t hear them. Are they in the flat?

A click, and Google Reader illucidates slightly:

“Paul is following you”

That’s it.

Who, exactly, is Paul?

The profile image doesn’t inspire confidence, and there are no further details. Either they don’t have a Google Profile to click though to, or Google Reader doesn’t click though to it.

“Paul is following you”

This isn’t a unique problem. I keep getting mails from twitter saying “$foo is following you” (You’d think with all these people following me I’d be able to see them. Perhaps milling around while I’m in the flat or something) without any way to connect $foo with an identifier I could actually recognise.

“Paul is following you”

A bit of digging (though the Google Reader Sharing Settings Page, of all places) gave me the google account ID of my followers, which was a little better. (If you’re interested in finding out who I am where, check Project Walrus.

In conclusion, profiles on social networks do actually serve a purpose: They allow your stalkees to identify you. This means you, Paul.