Wearing Our Lives on Our Sleeves

I just signed up for Facebook.  Yeah, they got me sucked in.  What a great job they do at sucking people in too.  When you sign up, it looks at your email contacts and in an almost virus like fashion (but with your permission, of course) it searches for anyone who is in your contact list and instantly shows you potential ‘friends’.  It emails everyone and tells them that you just signed up for Facebook and that they should join too.

I’ve always been kind of a private guy.  I write this blog, which is public, but I can pick and choose what I share.  I’ve lived in apartments, but never really enjoyed having people living above, below, and beside me.  I have nothing to hide.  It’s just some internal thing I have for my own privacy.  I have neighbors where I live now, next to me & behind me, but I couldn’t even tell you their names.  When I get home, I press the remote to my garage door from inside my car and close it after me when I get in.

I initially didn’t get the concept of Facebook.  I’ve heard of the buzz word “social networking”.  I thought I knew what it meant.  I changed my Facebook profile to Engaged, not realizing that it would broadcast this to everyone I knew there.  Suddenly I was getting phone calls and emails from people I haven’t talked to in years congratulating me.  I’ve actually been engaged now for almost a year.  But, by one little change in my status, it appeared as though it just happened.

Right away, I wanted my privacy back.  I almost went and removed my Facebook page.  But, then it sank in.  How powerful is this tool?  Here are all of these people who know me, many of them relatives who care about me, that I have been out of touch with.  Now, I can communicate easily to the whole group.  I was able to requests mailing addresses with just one sentence and it went out to entire group.  Now I have everyone’s addresses to send wedding invitations to.  I am now in contact with friends and relatives I haven’t communicated with in years.

It’s almost voyeuristic how public our lives have become.  There are cameras on nearly every street corner.  I can log on to any number of websites and see public ‘cams’ like this one at Santa Monica pier.  You Tube allows anyone to post their own content.  Here’s a video I posted of my girls a year ago, without even thinking that anyone can just go to You Tube and see it.

One guy who I really enjoy to watch and respect what he is doing is Leo Laporte.  He broadcasts himself live at least 30 hours a week.  Justin at Justin TV broadcasts live 24 hours a day.  He uses a helmet cam.

I’m listening to a book called “What Would Google Do?”.  The author speaks about how to use technology like this to our advantage.  He sites where he put up a blog post about a bad experience with Dell that went viral.  Finally NewsWeek did an article on him and the post.  Since then Dell has learned to listen to people who have made themselves public and use this to their advantage to fix problems publicly.  Now the bad publicity has been turned to good and by helping one person publicly, they are actually helping many come to a resolution to what may have been a common problem for many.

Companies can use your browsing history to target ads to you.  On Facebook, I am constantly receiving ads on their pages advertising wedding stuff.  Hmmm…How did they know? :o)  

I’ve always wanted a way to shout things that I felt important from ‘Mountain Tops’.  The tools to do so are out there.  Now it’s just a matter of being creative and organized enough to take advantage of them.  Maybe I will find that camera out on Santa Monica Pier and post a big advertisement for PhotoLynx.  

Look how KFC took advantage of Google Earth:

Maybe I should have proposed like this, using Google Street view.

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