Check out this NYT article about yet another person who was erronesously placed on an USG watchlist. In this case, he exonerated himself to the FBI by providing them an abundance of information about himself…then kept that going.
“You want to watch me? Fine. But I can watch myself better than you can, and I can get a level of detail that you will never have.”
This is probably an excellent answer for people who can be open about their identity, only have one identity, and would like to make sure that they aren’t confused with any of the other 7 billion people on the planet. For those who need to maintain multiple identities without making it clear that they ARE maintaining multiple identities (like, oh, FBI agents), I’m not sure that the level of effort required here would be feasible.
Ryan Estrada made this image and shared it on Google+.
Just like in real life
Kee Hinckley commented: “The irony of hating obviously fake names (which is basically what Google’s policy is attempting to police) is that you are encouraging people to lie about who they are, and encouraging them to create throwaway accounts instead of having a persistent identity with a reputation that they care about.”
If someone is created a brand for himself, why should anyone, person or company, care if that brand “sounds realistic” or not? I mean, Mark Twain? That’s like calling yourself Dow Jones…just because we’re used to thinking of it as a name today doesn’t make it “realistic.”
I note that Google+ seems to be OK with Lady Gaga going by Lady Gaga. Presumably they’d be OK with Christopher George Latore Wallace going by The Notorious B.I.G. (although if someone’s posting as him today, there’s another issue with veracity). So if everyone knows me as Raq Winchester, even if that’s not on my photo ID, we should be cool, yeah?
There are cultural issues, also. I had to be “officially male” in Malaysia once (long story, women can’t pay taxes or sign for rebates), and the guy said “It’s not like anyone will know – I mean “Rachel” could totally be a guy’s name.”
So I was wondering about some weird LinkedIn emails, but they seemed harmless. However, Steve Woodruff, Connection Agent, found that some of LinkedIn’s recent changes are far more obnoxious.
Apparently, LinkedIn has recently done us the “favor” of having a default setting whereby our names and photos can be used for third-party advertising.
*UPDATE: After you finish with Account, check the new default settings under E-mail Preferences (such as Partner InMails); and Groups, Companies & Applications (such as Data Sharing with 3rd-party applications). It’s a Facebook deja vu!
I was pretty much done with LinkedIn as I’ve seen no value from it in three years, but had kept my account due to inertia. That’s changed.
Go and check your settings: https://www.linkedin.com/settings/social-advertising
Blogging about the Web 2.0 connected classroom has a good post about how to take care of your digital self.
Google Yourself- Take a few moments and Google yourself. You might have a common name so use different variations. Add your middle name, location or something else that might provide some hits. I had the honor of speaking to a great group of educators this week at the New Literacy Institute at NC State University. One of the activities they were involved in was looking at their digital self and the first thing they did was Google themselves. It was fascinating to watch the reactions across the room as they found information about themselves they didn’t know was online or information they they thought was private on Facebook or other social networks. You don’t know if you don’t Google. And this isn’t a one shot deal. Google yourself often to make sure the information that is out there represents you in the way you want.
Establish A Brand– This sounds complicated but really it is easy as figuring out what name you use across all that you do on the web. My brand is my name (Steven W. Anderson) and my Twitter (@web20classroom). I use the middle initial in my name because my full name is pretty common (doctors, laywers, even an actor, and some not so nice folks). So in searches done on those 2 brands the information comes back to me. The point here is to start using the same identity across multiple services so solidify yourself. And try to use your actual name or a simple variation.
Get A Space Of Your Own– You are going to need a place of your own to let people know who you are. I chose to use Twitter and a blog. These are places where you can further establish who you are, what you are about what what you want to say. Those are just two ways. It could be something simple like an About.me page. Again, your are further solidifying yourself on the web. What’s great is you can control how much information you put out there and what information you put out there; all in an effort to control your identity.
Stay On Top Of Things– Google Alerts might just be the best way to keep track of things easily. You set up some keywords to search (so you would do the name you have been using to Google, your brand, blog, Twitter, etc), fill out how often you want to get the alerts, an email address and boom! any page on the web that mentions any of the data you submitted lands in your inbox so you can know who is saying what about you or your brand.
Those of us who made it into the Google+ beta before they shut down invites (or got hacked into it afterwards) had a good laugh when we discovered that Zuckerberg was in the beta.
There was instant doubt. Is it really him?
I think it is – I mean, why wouldn’t he? If I were him I’d be in the beta. But I think it’s interesting that the reaction is immediate suspicion of identity. “Fake until proven real” seems to be the rule for folks who spend a lot of cycles on social media.
Sadly, “real until proven fake” seems to be the starting point for everyone else.
You know what OKC needs? Netflix recommendations. ”Because you enjoyed [Name] and [Name], we think you’ll enjoy [Name].” #worklifebalance