Social Networking Accounts Helen Has:

  1. Facebook – check it all day. Love the simplicity and cleanness of it. Love the applications, a lot of people would disagree with me about this.
  2. Myspace – used to check it all day till I found Facebook. Got sick of all the huge ads and crazy, extra cluttered layouts. Got especially sick of all the spam friend requests. My cats have at least 800 more friends than I do, all other animals, so I am not alone in my crazy!
  3. Ning – participated in a lot in grad school as part of the LIS Students group. Allowed us newbies and soon to be newbies a place to vent, get job interviewing advice, etc.
  4. Virb – never heard of it? You may never again, I was part of the beta for this group and it still doesn’t seem to have taken off.
  5. LinkedIn – this is more for professional networking. Links people through jobs and professional association with each other. Also not very popular yet, but soon.
  6. Always Illinois – alumni of the U of I social network. I signed up so they’d stop emailing me about it and it’s alright. I’ve only checked it once.

These are only using the most narrow definition of social networking. I could have included Flickr and such, but 6 is enough.

I think I probably stated my case for Facebook in the last post…oops.

This whole experience got me thinking about the concept of privacy on the internet. Cathi Wilkin’s wrote a post recently about Anonymous posting. I noticed it because I realized that I myself had been posting anonymously by accident (forgot to change a setting from my screen name to my real name). I have always thought that when commenting on other people’s blogs, you owe them the opportunity to respond to you as a person. I always sign my name to blog comments (except, of course, those of you who got celestihel…by the way, that was me).

But for the rest of the illusion of anonymity on the web, I choose to be private. All of my social networking is private, and for now, I’m not advertising my name all over my blog much either. Why? Because I may not necessarily want everyone I’ve ever known to be able to know me again. They know I’m out there and that’s close enough!

Also, I was once applying for a job and did a little egosurfing to make sure that if they Googled me, I knew what they would find. There was my Myspace page, a totally fun and unprofessional endevour between myself and friends, available to anyone. What might a potential employer make of that information? It also shed a little light on how some former acquaintances tracked me down, unfortunately.

So there it is, we all choose at what level we want to just put ourselves out there. But when it comes to actually commenting about other people’s opinions, I think it’s important to own it. As for my own opinions in this blog, for now, I think I’ll let you all know who I am and leave it at that. Hypocritical? Maybe, but you can’t make me!

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