I’ve been thinking about privacy lately – as well as why I bother to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, and that other social networking site. I think that I may begin adjusting my usage patterns to better fit my new thinking.
First off: There are people who believe that they can maintain some level of anonymity with a blog. I do not. I assume that anyone with google and half an hour to kill can figure out my name, my employer, where I live, and so on. This is partly a self fulfilling belief – I do not make any serious effort to keep my online persona distinct from my real life self. I do avoid using full names and addresses on livejournal – mostly to prevent my posts from immediately becoming google fodder. However, my conclusion is that were I to want to maintain privacy – the best and only solution would be to write them down in a pen-and-paper journal and keep it on my bedside bookshelf. Half-assed measures like friends-locked posts are just a rube’s game. The walls are too thin and the probing AI’s too powerful.
Besides – I’ve never had much interest in role playing games. I know that some people maintain different LJ accounts in order to have finger-puppet arguments online. That lost interest for me back on the BBS’s that my friends ran in high school.
I have, from time to time, wanted to speak to a larger readership with some of my blog posts. I realize that that case what I need to do is to not post the stuff that is only of interest to my real life friends and family. While I flatter myself to think that a broader audience might be interested in some of my writing on matters technical, philosophical, or political – I know for certain that they do not care that (for example) redmed, technolope, amnesiadust and I had a wonderful afternoon at their place this afternoon. A broader readership would not give two shits about my awesome new couch – though they might wonder why I bother with the profanity.
So anyway – I figure that my job is to think about who might care about my updates, and put them in the right place.
I like the little livejournal community we’ve got here. I like sharing awesome recipes that we cook, and stories of fun weekend trips. I’ve had something like 30 “friends,” for more than a couple of years – and haven’t added any in a very long time. I know that some other folks stop through from time to time.
Facebook is like livejournal-lite for me. More people – shorter updates – no real content. I use it to announce “I’m in Atlanta next week,” and stuff like that. I don’t even count it as blogging.
My work blog is – well – it’s connected to work. I feel an obligation to avoid talking religion or politics there.
I think that I lack a more serious personal blog. One that might be attached to an update to ye olde website, with – like – a list of interests and a resume like I had there in 1996.
Twitter is useless crap, and I can’t figure out why I’m still on it. I know that the direct message thing works – but a text message works well too.