Over the next few days, I’ll be scaling down my online output. I’m going to put the blog on hold and, once I’ve done that, will in the coming weeks/months be updating my ‘main’ website (the one hosting my PhD) to be a static, search engine optimised, half decent representation of my online identity (all in one place. Most other stuff will be gotten rid of).
I own my main website’s domain name, but all the files are hosted on webspace the ex owns – not ideal! So either way I’ll need to host it myself. It’ll just be a process to get back to a manageable online presence that I’m comfortable with. I may even keep my twitter and integrate it, and e.g. use the wordpress platform to publish my personal website and PhD (but not as a blog, i.e. not updated).
We’ll see. It’s good to keep moving with these kinds of things, and it’s not as if I completely want to erase everything. I just want to get back to a decent static representation of myself, with no additional effort required! And forget all the stuff about personal branding and the importance of online visibility – I see myself staying in my current job for years and years to come (it’s public sector so I don’t exactly need to be worried about losing my job…).
I’ve been thinking of reducing my Internet use at home to the bare minimum, i.e. just emailing (when I have to) and ‘information search’ (including buying stuff).
For a number of reasons.
One, security/privacy. I don’t like the idea of putting myself about online – I’ve completely gone off that idea. I don’t want anyone to know anything about me 😛 . I’m thinking about googling my own name and deleting every profile etc. that I can find that’s under my name.
Two, boredom. Producing stuff online, putting myself out, using online tools to tell the world about me, just doesn’t hit the spot any more. I’m in the grip of some kind of internet fatigue.
Three, general media apathy. I’ve completely reduced the amount of media that I consume, especially, visual media, and I feel better for it. The only visual media I use in my private life is the occasional game, and, the occasional (mostly educational) programme on iPlayer.
Thus, I’m going to think about it. I might just stop blogging and twittering for a while. Or I may disappear altogether 🙂
Interesting Guardian news story about Facebook libel case:
After Grant Raphael had a row with his old school friend Mathew Firsht, he wanted revenge. He disseminated a web of lies via Facebook, to cause Firsht stress and humiliation.
Yesterday Raphael was ordered by the high court in London to pay £22,000 damages to Firsht, after the freelance television cameraman created fake, malicious entries about the businessman.
Confidential details about Firsht’s whereabouts, activities and birthday were “laid bare” on the social networking website for 16 days after Raphael posted the false profiles.
Interesting because not the site publishing the content, i.e. Facebook, was made responsible, but the individual posting the fake entry! The legal situation in the UK isn’t that clear cut as there haven’t been that many test cases when it comes to Internet libel.
Not so good news then for moderation companies – one of their arguments for providing their service is to protect clients from issues such as libel. If the sites aren’t held responsible, then you don’t need to worry about moderation! Well other than for community friendliness and abuse etc.
I’ve been thinking about my ‘personal brand’ and whether/how I should develop it. I’m plagued forever by the private/public dichotomy, in that I’m very guarded about my online identity and don’t really want to push my real name out into the ‘web 2.0 sphere’.
However, I realise that I have to do something for my horizontal visibility. For instance, if potential employers search for my name via Google, they find a certain no. of links, as well as my PhD-website (static, web 1.0). They’ll also of course find me on linkedin etc.
The thing is though, I have never made a conscious effort to develop my name-as-brand. Simply put: if searching for my real name (e.g. by potential future employers/for projects or whatever) produces a high no. of relevant Google-hits (example: blog, twitter, facebook, linkedin, xing, etc. all with well maintained and ‘active’ profiles), I can then illustrate my knowledge of and understanding of the online space.
As it is, I can still ‘prove’ it of course (plus, I have a PhD, which helps 😛 . However, I could optimise it quite easily. The reason I’m not doing it (yet) is that I’m cautious about this privacy-issue. I know other people who work online but who haven’t developed a strong online brand, just because of that. There are also real practical implications such as: would I want my current employer to know what I write about, e.g. in a blog or Twitter? Not really!
I will have to give the whole thing some proper thought. The least I can do optimising my existing ‘public’ profiles, so that what is out there already, is going to be more useful for me and any future career development.
Yesterday I was reminiscing with someone about the ‘blink’ tag. When I was first on the Internet, I used to write html code in notepad, saving it as *.html. It then turned into a webpage (obviously). That’s how I created my very first ‘homepage’ on geocities!
Favourite annoying ‘effect’ (we didn’t have CSS then) was the blink tag. i.e.
It was kinda cool, but very quickly got annoying. The inventor of the blink tag apparently said that
he considers [it] to be “The worst thing I’ve ever done for the Internet.”
I also remember now what the ‘computer rooms’ at the University of Cologne were – and in fact still are – called: CIP Pool 😀