The ORCID project has launched their service. I had thought it would only be for participating organisations but you can register as an individual.
I registered and was able to pull in citations from Scopus and then from CrossRef.
To link to a personal page it's just http://orcid.org/[ORCID] e.g. mine is
You can also submit support tickets to http://support.orcid.org/ (which has a separate account from the main ORCID site).
It's v1.0 so there are lots of bugs.
There's an API, see e.g. the documentation at http://support.orcid.org/knowledgebase/topics/19247-rest-api
It's important to understand what this is and what it is not.
It is a way to assign a globally-unique ID to every author, and to link that ID to other service-specific IDs (such as Scopus ID). It is not a social network for scientists.
It is also a way to link that unique ID to research objects. ORCID says it enables authors to
uniquely attach your identity to research objects such as datasets, equipment, articles, media stories, citations, experiments, patents, and notebooks
So ORCID is essentially a key piece of scholarly infrastructure. Infrastructure like this can be hard to build because usually people are interested in the services they can build on top of infrastructure, not in the underlying support pieces themselves.
Experiments in Free Citation Management Online
The Citation and Author services that Google and Microsoft provide shouldn't be considered in the same space as ORCID. They're more experiments in what can be done with the available data. They don't have the same design requirements.
Google Scholar has a system that is mainly about citations and author connections, my profile is
Microsoft Academic also has an authors system, although it auto-creates pages (Google gives you more control over creating and populating your profile). My MS profile has an assortment of errors.
As you might expect you need to use a Google account to manage your Scholar profile and a Microsoft Live ID to manage your Academic profile.
The MS site also lives at http://journalogy.com/
With all of them the "claim" process is going to be a bit of a challenge. How much infrastructure do we have to verify that the person who says they have the credentials to modify an author account actually is that specific author? What happens when you use e.g. an institutional email and you're no longer at that institution? It will be interesting to see how this issue is managed.
July 21, 2011 Google Scholar adds personal profiles displaying citations