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If You Can’t Tweet Something Nice…


Just a quick Web 2.0 rant today. I’ll stop these rants when people start to respect the power of the post.

We all know that Web 2.0 and social networking sites are changing the way many of us communicate (both personally and professionally), but this new constant communication comes with some new pitfalls. And, you only need to look at front page news to see countless examples.

Just this week a girl was arrested for posting photos of herself online. Okay she was nude and 14 years old, but they were pictures of herself. Lesson: Think before you hit post.

Another news piece from this week that can be filed under the heading of Sisyphean tasks. A group in England tried to fight the Google street view functionality from showing public streets. They may win in the short term, but there is no doubt that live public street views being available online can’t be stopped. Lesson: We will all get our 15 minutes of fame – like it or not.

And a new twist, just yesterday InformationWeek reported a couple of researchers demonstrated that anonymous twitter users can be outed by connecting to other social networking sites. Lesson: There is little chance of keeping your ID a secret.

I’d be interested to find out how may people try to hid their true identities on social networking sites and blogs. Is it more dangerous if you think you are anonymous? What if Tony Mackey wasn’t my real name? Okay, it is really Anthony, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. Could I have a blog that criticized people I work with and think someday it wouldn’t be discovered that I’m not Tony from Boston, but I’m Johnny from Redmond or Harold from Armonk. How long could I get away with that? Lesson: There is no privacy or anonymity.

It all goes back to what our parents use to say, ‘If you can’t tweet or blog something nice about someone don’t post anything at all’ or something like that. Lesson: Mom and Dad were right.

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