Your private life, well, it’s not so private (higher ed, social media, and privacy)

March 4, 2010

Interesting article about faculty and social media, touching a tiny bit on online presence & digital identity ( because you know — say it with me kids — if you’re not building your digital identity, someone is building it for you…)

but also further removes the illusion that faculty members — or anyone, for that matter — can maintain a completely private life on the Internet.

Heh. Did we think otherwise? Come to think about it, is any part of our life private? Our financial transactions and life are stored online, webcams almost EVERYWHERE, so what IS private?

Faculty may make efforts to preserve their private lives, but professors really have “24-7” jobs and can never fully distance themselves from their identities as educators held to high standards, said Brad Ward, who advises colleges on using social media.

I think that the EXPECTATION that we ALWAYS have to represent our institution or company is outdated and doesn’t fit very well with social media. If you expect to participate in social media, there has to be understanding that people will be… well… people. Otherwise, it just into yet another digital platform for pr and publishing.

Facebook: content vs. action, privacy & more (presentation)

February 8, 2010

Presentation in January:

  • Uses of facebook
  • Social media netiquette
  • Privacy issues (including changes in Facebook privacy; content vs. action)
  • You are your brand

Social media etiquette

January 19, 2010

I’m tweaking my facebook, privacy & identity workshop, so I tidied these up. You can read all of my previous writings about privacy, here, facebook ones are a here, and here are the commandments… LOL

Social media/ Facebook Etiquette

· Be aware of what you can control and what you can’t. Make sure to read TOS and Privacy statements – they do sometimes change. Don’t be caught by surprise.

· Use preferences and settings wisely to control and manage your social network. Consider what you want to keep private and what you want to share.

· Pages (a website) and Groups (discussion forums) provide alternatives to having a personal profile.

· Develop your own social media policy and use your social media appropriately. Are you using it for PR? genealogy? To keep up with family? Network professionally? A combination?

· Do not spam, spy, cyberstalk, or bully. If you are a victim of those behaviors, deal with them appropriately. Report inappropriate behavior.

· Consider carefully who you friend. Be very careful about friending staff that you supervise, students, or children that you may know.

· Consider your language and appropriateness of content. Does it match your audience and your social media policy?

· Consider if facebook (or any social media) is the best choice for the activity. If you want to create an open event, facebook may be a good choice. It may not be the best way to archive links or discussions.

· Remember: social media is about sharing (sometimes called microsharing). Accept that your social network may not have the same political or religious beliefs as you, and they, are well, human.

· …finally, if it’s on the web – it’s published. It may be private, but it is archived somewhere.

Call for papers (Intellectual Property conference)

December 14, 2009

Call for papers: Conference on Intellectual Property, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY

April 30-May 1, 2010; (cfp deadline: Feb. 5, 2010)

Iona College announces the Second Conference on Intellectual Property to be held at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, April 30 – May 1, 2010. The keynote address will be presented by James Boyle.*

In our second year, the Conference on Intellectual Property will continue to explore intellectual property in a cross-disciplinary context. What is it, how has it evolved as a concept, and in what ways do we feel its practical and theoretical impact upon academic, economic, legal and technological fields? From plagiarism, to patent law, to the Creative Commons and beyond, the conference is sure to offer a remarkable breadth and depth of insights and approaches to what may well be the defining issue of our time. Come join the conversation!

Selected essays will be published in a proposed collection for a peer-reviewed press.

500-word Papers/Panel abstracts or complete papers should be submitted by February 5th, 2010 to Shannon Donlon at Questions can be directed to Dr. Amy Stackhouse at:

2010 Conference Information will soon be available at:

*James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. He is the author of The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind and Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society. He writes widely on issues of intellectual property, internet regulation and legal theory. He was one of the founding board members of Creative Commons (, which works to facilitate the free availability of art, scholarship, and cultural materials by developing innovative, machine-readable licenses that individuals and institutions can attach to their work. He served as a board member from 2002 until 2009, the last year as Chairman of the board. He was also a co-founder of Science Commons (, which aims to expand the Creative Commons mission into the realm of scientific and technical data, and of ccLearn (, which works to promote the development and use of open educational resources. Professor Boyle is also a member of the academic advisory boards of the Electronic Privacy and Information Center (, the Connexions ( open-source courseware project, and of Public Knowledge ( In addition, he continues to write an online column for the Financial Times‘ New Economy Policy Forum (

Lawsuit against Facebook

November 16, 2009

I wonder how many more lawsuits are out there pending against facebook? And to answer my question, this is actually a followup to earlier legal action.

This one accuses Facebook of “conspir[ing] with Blockbuster to violate a federal law protecting customer video-rental and sale records.”

According to the article the previous law suit (which resulted in a settlement on Facebook’s part), “some 44 companies agreed under the Beacon program to supply Facebook with information about the online transactions of Facebook users, so the data could be broadcast to “friends” on a user’s Facebook page. Users were not asked if they wanted to opt in to the program and, according to the suit, could only opt out by visiting each of the individual partner sites to prevent their data from going to Facebook.”

Yet another reason not to link accounts like amazon, YOUR BANK, or another account with personal info that you might NOT want to let the world know about, with Facebook.

Facebook is a company – just like google, microsoft, etc.

Read the wired article here
or my writings about facebook and about privacy.

Facebook, privacy & digital identity (presentation)

October 22, 2009

10/26/2009 Update: Although my presentation is still (very) relevant, if you are looking for the fix for the latest facebook live feed enhancement, start here. This presentation was done the week before the enhancement was launched so although I did talk about privacy issues (and setting your privacy settings) the feed enhancement is was not available at the time.
…and you can read all my posts about facebook here and all of my posts about digital identity here.

Facebook and Friendfinder — what you need to know

August 25, 2009

Interesting post about how facebook uses your email address to connect you to people through friendfinder

Delete your info here

…which all just goes to show, we all need to stay on top of what information we put out there. I don’t use friendfinder, but apparently my email address was harvested from a couple of mailing lists by people who DO use friendfinder via facebook.

…and don’t friend me on facebook, if we are not in the same professional circles — especially, if we’ve never met or had a conversation (either f2f or online) because I won’t friend you back unless you WRITE A REALLY REALLY GOOD MESSAGE EXPLAINING WHY YOU ARE APPROACHING PEOPLE ONLINE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW…. AND EVEN THEN, PROBABLY NOT. GOT IT?

Twitter verified accounts

August 17, 2009

I dunno, do I need this? I kind of feel like we all need to stake our digital identities firmly NOW, because the ‘net is only going to be a more crowded space.

From twitter:

What does it mean?

With this feature, you can easily see which accounts we know are ‘real’ and authentic. That means we’ve been in contact with the person or entity the account is representing and verified that it is approved. (This does not mean we have verified who, exactly, is writing the tweets.)

then it goes on to say that it is just for famous (paraphrasing) people or those who have had identity issues. Hmmm…. I think I’ll write them anyhow. I have my namesake domain plus a claimid, both of which include a link to my twitter account. It would seem like if you use openid for twitter, it could link all of those together and automatically verify… just saying…

Facebook Commandments

August 7, 2009

A colleague and I were having an interesting chat about facebook in the workplace. I have my own rules (and practices) for facebook, given that my “friends” are a diverse mix of colleagues, friends + family (some even cross those lines) and drawn from the various areas and interests in my life.

Given that I’ve articulated these verbally many times, I thought it might be worth a blog post… and these are subject to change at any time. 😉 I realize not everyone is going to agree with me and it does involve some level of self-editing (some might also call it censorship). However, I consider it all to be building my digital identity, the digital identity I want, the one I am crafting everyday. Because those of you who know me, know what I say ALOT “If you are not building your digital identity, someone will build it for you!”

With that thought in mind, here are my 14 rules and practices for Facebook use:

  1. You can control who sees your news feeds; however, I decided if I didn’t want people to read my feeds, then I shouldn’t “friend” them.
  2. I keep part of profile public, so that those I meet at conferences or events can find me. I am careful about what displays as my public information, though.
  3. I don’t ‘friend’ anyone I supervise or any students from one of my workshops/presentations, but if they friend me, I accept the friendship.
  4. I do think about what I write and if I wouldn’t say it in public, it doesn’t go on Facebook.
  5. I don’t friend (or accept friend requests) from strangers unless they have a very good reason (which they explain) for friending me.
  6. I mostly watch my language. If I don’t want my mom to read it (and she does), then it doesn’t go on Facebook.
  7. Only a few people can see my family photos and some notes. Everyone can see my artwork, blog posts, the majority of my notes.
  8. I do not post any photos or video of my family without permission. I expect them to do the same.
  9. I use Facebook for networking, promotional, and professional development. I push out technology posts and art updates. I follow several colleagues and artists who send me wonderful links and readings through facebook.
  10. I don’t spy using facebook.
  11. I accept that my family, friends & colleagues use Facebook and unless they post something really inappropriate (like they were going to bring a gun to work tomorrow or they enjoy stealing from the company), then I wouldn’t call them out on it. I may not agree with their politics or personal beliefs or work habits, but I understand that we are all human and have the right to our thoughts. It is really about respect. However, if I discovered that anyone I knew were abusing the internet (regardless of website), then I would question that.
  12. I use it in place of email for almost all non-official email. There, I confess. I did a presentation with a group of freshman just a few months ago, and I discovered that about all they do on the ‘net these days is facebook. No youtube, no delicious, no IM, no flickr — everything is done via facebook and for several in the group, via their cell phones. If I need to archive or I need the email to represent me in an official capacity, then I use an “official” email address.
  13. I don’t let it interfere with my work, be it at home or here at the library. The web (regardless of what is it) can be a terrible time suck. The web is part of my work, so I am online an awfully lot (if you didn’t notice). LOL
  14. I turn off the services I don’t use in Facebook, like IM. Sorry, message or email me instead. IM is too disruptive to me when I working, especially if it involves reading on the web, video editing, or coding (in other words, things which take a lot of brain power!)