Social Media Walls III – Privacy and Exposure, or Striptease 2.0

I wanted to write this post for a long time, but it seems that I just needed the right trigger to do that. My friend Blonde 2.0 did an amazing job in getting me all warmed up for the task.

There is a long and heated debate re the nature of blogging. On the one hand it is a personal, conversational medium. On the other hand, it is a public, mass media tool, that cannot be controlled. The minute you write something, it is a part of the cosmic archive (Google) forever.

The same goes for Flickr and all those 2.0 applications, that let you share, mashup, or whatever over hyped term we can think of.

But at the end of day, people are using these tools to know more about us. And whatever we write or show is accessible to everyone: friends, family, co-workers, employees, and potential employers. And it also puts our writing in a specific light.

I had a lot of talks with people who simply do not treat bloggers as serious sources of information. I’ve written a post about one of the things they’ve found disturbing in this medium – lack of clear way to measure credibility.

But the second argument I heard a lot is that people have hard time with what they call overexposure of bloggers re their personal lives. Yes, a lot of people just don’t want to know certain facts about their sources of information. And we can be as 2.0-correct as we want, at the end of the day, these are people who read our posts, and see our Flickr. People. Not tags. Not feeds. People. And as they are, well, human, they get an impression of who the person is from all this striptease 2.0 that is so praised in some parts of our community.

When a future employer looks for information about a candidate, and sees him drunk in pictures from his bachelor party, he doesn’t care that it is in Flickr. There is a good chance it affects his judgment, for good or for worse.

That’s why we have the ability to set privacy settings to our information. And the word is perfect – privacy. I have a private part in my life, that I want to share with my friends and family. My blog is not private. It might be personal. But it is certainly not private. And I keep it always in mind when I write my posts.

I have a simple thumb rule : not to write a post that I won’t agree to publish in the front page of New York Times, or share a photo in public that I am not willing to print on a shirt and wear in the street.

Yes, we should tell more about our lives. We just need to remember who read what we write (everyone) and when this information cannot be found (never).



Striptease 1.0 – Thanks God for the Second Bubble!



1 Response to “Social Media Walls III – Privacy and Exposure, or Striptease 2.0”

  1. 1 Barlow Keener May 10, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Just look at some of the #1 blogs: Buzzmachine – Jeff Jarvis, Huffington Post, GigaOm, Scobleizer, Pulver – the blogs are informative, they are fun, they are interesting – more interesting and informative than most news articles. And they are credible. The reporters at the papers are cruising the blogs looking for stories. The #1 blogs check their sources and if they are incorrect, as all reporters are at times, the commentators instantly point out the errors. I think it is great to include personal information – it is like salt and pepper – the spice to a meal. Too much and the blog becomes boring. Not enough and it is bland. But it is definitely for each blogger to determine their own comfort level with a) their topics, b) revealing their personal lives, and c) doing their research in depth.

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