Five or so years ago (heck, probably longer… showing my ‘internet age’ here) those who contributed content to the web most likely knew the realities (and consequences) of putting content in the public domain, and of course on the web. Putting it simply, whatever goes out there, stays out there. It’s been archived, indexed, made public and there isn’t much you can do about it. So you had better be damn sure you know what you are doing; that it can and will come back to haunt you.
Here is where Kevin Colin (the latest example) comes in. In a nutshell, he skipped work for “family reasons”, instead attended a halloween party, ended up in a picture, which was published on facebook, tagged as Kevin and (big surprise) his boss found out about it. Brilliant!
Now, I have a few friends on Facebook that have used the popular social site to show some of their true colours. Uploading some rather controversial photos, setting status messages complaining about their boss, etc. In one case, the friend of mine is a school teacher; demonstrating what a great(sarcasm) example she is for her students. Which you can guess are also ‘friends’ of hers. So are the parents. If you needed an example of clueless behaviour; that’s it!
Now, do these names mean anything to you?
If they don’t, they will once you click on those links. You might even pass the links along. That’s another property of the internet; it’s viral.
Don’t think this matters? I tell you something, I’ve been involved in hiring a number of people in recent years. With no hesitation, each candidate I plugged into Google. Some came back with positive results, others none at all; even fewer with tarnishing information. You can be sure this will become more and more mainstream across employers.
Your Name. It’s simple. Do I know you? Whether I do or not, I’m going to immediately Google you to see if I should. Oh, you a have a weblog. Excellent.
And as networks like Facebook grow, you can be sure your information will be readily accessible to those who are looking. So be careful out there kids.