Since I’m saying some very deeply personal stuff, I’ve been thinking about issues of identity and privacy. Something that I just did was to put some “identity speed bumps.”
Basically, on my public pages, I’ve removed the links to this blog and just put a note that you can e-mail me if you want to know where my blog is. This goes through the other direction. If you want to know my name, ask me and I will tell you.
It should also be relatively easy make the link without going through me. There is one page that intentionally has both a link to my home page and a link to this blog, and one forum in which I have both. But it’s something that requires maybe five minutes of effort, and it is intended to prevent causal identity linking.
For the past several days, I’ve been blogging about some important personal issues in my life. I just stepped back, and I realized that most people don’t care most of what I wrote. That’s a tremendously liberating realization.It means I can say what I think and I don’t have to worry too much about my audience, because most people don’t care, or you care about certain parts of my existence. You might care about my views on the Chinese economy or the University of Phoenix, but you could care less about what I think about the “fairy princess.” Or vice versa, you can care a lot of what I think about being a father, and could care less about my opinions on the Chinese economy. Or you want to know my opinions on ghosts.
That means that a lot of this is self-filtering. I just need to get the tags right. I can say deeply important personal things about my accident and my chronic pain, and if it matters to you, you can read it. If it doesn’t matter to you, and you just want my thoughts on UoP, you can skip to that, and avoid my ramblings in other areas.
But the one that you need to keep in mind is that in my world all of these issues are connected. Dealing with my chronic pain influences my thoughts on the Chinese economy, and what I think about the University of Phoenix is also connected to my thoughts on being a father. The nice thing about the blog format is that you can pick the pieces that you want, ignore the one’s that you don’t, and then integrate that into whatever weird combinations make you, you.
A thought occurred to me, that illustrates the powerful amount of magic that names have, and the complexity of information…..
It might not seem like it will make a big different if I call someone “my brother” rather than their name (which you can probably find out without too much trouble).
But it does.
One makes it on a google or technorati search. One doesn’t.
All I have to do is to say the name once and only once, and google will cross reference this blog with all of the other information about my brother . If I don’t say the name, you won’t find out about him unless you interested in me. Without the name, this information just disappears.
Guess the name, and magic happens…..
Just like Turandot….
I just realized something else…..
I haven’t posted my name on the blog either. It’s not a secret, you can figure it out since it is hooked in from my home page, but it means that you came in through some of the designated doors rather than through google.
So if you are reading this, this means you came in either through Wilmott, my home page, or wikimania. You didn’t just google on my name.