Privacy and Social Networks

This is something that’s been bothering me for awhile, and that I continue to struggle with. How do I maintain my real life social connections and get rid of data mining services like Facebook?

I have a handful of friends whose correspondance with me is primarily through Facebook. I can’t help but wonder if I would never hear from them if I wasn’t on there. I’m even scared to admit to myself what I would do without the constant status update stream.

What makes Facebook so evil that I want to get away is simple. Facebook cleverly gets you to willingly put your demographic information on their site. Then they encourage you to connect with friends and family. Then there’s pages to become a fan of, groups to join, and before long, the data they have simply amassed includes info on where you’ve lived, what company you keep, what you like, where you shop, and they compile this and sell it to the highest bidder.

Consider this: they also know what it takes to get you to compulsively play games. This data also has value.

I can easily find information on just about anyone I meet these days with a search of Google and Facebook. Cobbling this info together, plus some other public database searches, and I’ve got a good bio on them. I do these searches out if curiosity, and don’t use the information for personal or professional gain. Even with some information obscured, Facebook leaves a bunch of information that helps missing pieces fall into place.

My best advice to myself is to drop Facebook now, and don’t look back. I want a better answer than that. I want to have my connectivity with my anonymity.

Will I lose real friends by losing Facebook? That’s the real question.

Privacy and Content

Lots going on in Q-land. First off, about changes with my web presence. will continue to be my blog, and your main source for what I’m happy to share with the public. Conveniently, you can guarantee on my Twitter feeds being seen on the side bar, and you can request to follow me if you currently are on Twitter. For more social networking, I can be found on a small handful of social networking sites like LiveJournal and Facebook, but both of those are ideally limited to those I interact with professionally or socially, and contain more private aspects of my life than I’m willing to share with a broader audience. Think of it as a 21st century filter for how I choose to conduct myself in my non-electronic life. My interest is in more carefully managing my searchable content on the Internet. Privacy will NOT be managed for you, and I’m interested in taking back what control I can for the content I’m responsible for.

I have also secured Right now it redirects to, as does the email address that will be featured on my MOO cards. The plan is that once I get my past art work photographed, and some new stuff created, I’m going to make a more promotional art/whatever site that is separate from my blog. This is a long term project, so don’t hold your breath. I can’t guarantee it’s going to be happening any time soon as that I have a whole bunch of my art at my mom’s house, and that’s so darn far away I have to figure out how to get it here first. Between the cost of shipping and/or air travel, this might take awhile.