The idea of management of our web shadow was probably clear to most of us for a while now – as we are all responsible for each other here, in on-line spaces. But it was really Antony Mayfield’s book that made it clear to me just how crucial it is to keep an eye on our own privacy and monitoring of on-line conversations around our own data (name, nickname, address, blog title, hashtags, etc). I strongly suggest it as one of the mandatory reads for everyone wishing to use the web wisely.
Writing up blogging tips for mothers present on-line has made me realise that increasingly we are becoming more and more responsible for our kids and their web shadow, for our friends and family, even for our work contacts. Increasing linking between social networks helps us to manage the noise and amount of updates we are to send to all our audiences but we need to be aware of consequences of various access levels we provide to 3rd party applications on Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Klout – Twitter grading service was strongly criticised for pulling in family members from Facebook and in some cases publicising relationship that its users were not even aware of! We have a lot of options to manage our data, our privacy levels and group our relationships in various categories – let’s learn to use those for the sake of our families and friends! Let’s start to expect the same from our on-line friends too!
Just as a side note from someone who talks to KS1 and KS2 kids about on-line behaviour I would like to point our that as parents we tend to overlook the fact that all the information we share about our kids on-line – even if it’s just a photo of a newborn baby or first day of school – contribute to their on-line footprint so we need to wisely consider what to share and what to leave for private on-line communication. I have no intention to scare you off from using social media, I would just like to see the confident and competent usage of on-line spaces in conversations about and with our kids.