In Carly Rae Jepsen’s intensely catchy song “Call Me, Maybe” she offers her number to a stranger she has just met and acknowledges that though “it might sound crazy,” she’d like it if he called her (, maybe.)
But maybe Carly Rae isn’t as crazy as she thinks she might sound. Rob Banagale, co-founder of Gliph, made a similar observation, noticing that the way we exchange information with people we just met was outmoded; that asking for a number carried a lot more weight than it used to, whereas email addresses seemed corny, and Facebook not exactly appropriate.
A fairly new start-up based out of Portland, Oregon, Gliph’s aim is to achieve natural relationship in helping people build connections with others, going from strangers to fully developed human relationships, whether personal or business. Gliph wants to allow you to continue to connect freely, but prioritizes the protection of your personal information.
Claiming a “gliph” is like kicking off a sort of digital identity for yourself, assembling different aspects of who you are under different symbols — “artifacts”– that personify who you are. Gliphs are composed of symbols, making your identity global and culturally neutral.
We got the chance to ask Rob a few questions about Gliph:
Q: What are you most excited about?
A: The potential Gliph has to change the way people communicate with each other in the information they share. Gliph allows you to share exactly what you want to share with who, changing the way people communicate in terms of social signals as well as making connections.
Q: Why do you think a digital identity platform is important?
A: Gliph is trying to make your personal information more useful and valuable. Right now, personal information is being bought and sold, and that’s not really valuable to you. We want to change the way people view the value of their own personal information. We want to make you feel more in control of it, and more powerful than you would be if you didn’t use it. We want to put the control back in your hands.
Q: What makes you different?
A: Facebook and Google+ store all your private info in plain text, Gliph encrypts it.
Q: Best moment so far?
A: Presenting at Privacy Identity and Innovation Conference (pii 2012) and winning the Innovator Spotlight award. It was industry validation from the privacy community that showed we were on the right track; that we were different.
Q: Any Gliph success stories?
A: A friend randomly searched someone because they were the opposite Gliph than their own. They talked on Gliph, then became Facebook friends, went hiking, and had a pizza. All cause of Gliph!