It would be a stretch to say that Aristotle might have foreseen the rise of Facebook and similar sites when he observed that humans are, by nature, social animals. He did, however, clearly understand the basic impulse underlying our 21st-century digital networking culture. As philosophers, social scientists, psychologists, and other thinkers have noted through the ages, much of our satisfaction in life arises in the context of our relationships with other people.
What’s the connection between Aristotle and Atlas? Both recognize the fundamental impact social relations have on personal satisfaction. That’s why an earlier release of Atlas incorporated a vastly improved people search among many upgrades to the user experience.
Have we met?
While the improved people search brought advances like accessing MIT’s directory within the Atlas domain, it lacked a key component of a truly social environment—photo portraits. According to Kevin Lyons, the IS&T Project Manager for Atlas, “From the moment we introduced the improved search, people were saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if MIT’s directory included faces to go along with the names and titles?’”
We’re excited about this feature. It’s another opportunity to personalize your Atlas experience and to put your best foot forward. -Kevin Lyons
The advantage is clear. If you are preparing to meet with a colleague for the first time, you have a visual introduction to simplify recognition.
Your personal/professional space
If you decide to opt in, the process will be simple and familiar. Selecting the People Search icon on the top right of the Atlas home page will take you to the People Search page. You’ll see an alert that the photo upload tool is now available. Clicking the "Add Your Photo to the Atlas Search" link will give you the ability to select a photo from your files to post to the site. Your photo will appear as a personal icon on your home page.
“At that point,” Lyons says, “your photo will become part of your Atlas profile and available in the Atlas People Search.” Lyons notes that guidelines like posting only a recent, shoulders-up photo will keep it appropriate to the environment. “We’re excited about this feature. It’s another opportunity to personalize your Atlas experience and to put your best foot forward.”