If all your interests and skills were reduced to a scannable set of tags and thumbnails, what would your ego look like?
That's the question startup YouTego attempts to answer with its Web-based app that asks users to spend a few minutes in navel-gazing self-definition to create a snappy page of terms and related images. It's simple, social and actually quite fun once you get the hang of it.
The thing that impressed us about YouTego is that it's part of a growing trend of simple self-tagging systems such as Glue that allow users to claim mastery of, or affinity for, concepts, objects, groups, places and people. With relatively little profile information, users are able to identify themselves within the context of the universe around them.
In YouTego, the UI isn't quite as intuitive yet, but the results are pretty slick. Users have the option of telling the app a little bit about themselves. Then they can identify "tegos" (tags for the ego, according to the site) to show what they can do, where they work, where they go/went to school, what they love and more.
For the visual component, the user is asked to select a thumbnail for each tego. These images are found through a lightbox-type feature in the app, and can come from any number of sources, including Google search or a specific Flickr account.
Once tegos are created and elaborated upon through expressions and impressions, the user can be matched to others on YouTego or other users' content, and then can star other users' tegos and add TegoMates or friends.
It would be cool to see the service integrated with Facebook and Twitter, which it doesn't appear to do currently. And the app is very young and has its bugs. For example, it doesn't play well with Chrome at all.
Still, it's gathering a lot of good data about related tags, tags related to images and how people connect over expressions of their own personalities.