Michelle Sullivan Communications

Tiger bite : online privacy and the case of Marc L***

I’m sharing the content of an email I’ve forwarded to a client, with whom I’ve spoken about social media on several occasions. On one such occasion, the concerned father came to the surface, as he spoke about photos a family member had published on Facebook. Our conversation revolved around the Internet, privacy issues and new realities faced by the generation known as digital natives.

Hello L***

You may remember the conversation we had about your daughter, Facebook and privacy issues. If her French reading comprehension is good, you may want to have her check out the following blog post:

http://felixggenest.blogspot.com/2009/01/portrait-google-le-tigre-ne-connait-pas.html

which references the following article:

http://www.le-tigre.net/Marc-L.html

She can read the article first for better impact, then followup with the blog post for a bit more context.

Basically, this French publication chose someone completely randomly, then started to follow his Google trace. They created a portrait of him based on information he’d published himself in online communities like Facebook and Flickr.

The online article has been modified, encoding some of the more personal information. The original print version went out with everything laid out on the line: his name, the company he works for etc.

Particularly interesting is the inclusion, in the blog post I reference, of a letter written by the subject of the ‘study’. It shows his reaction. It shows how disconcerting he found it to be shown an article with his private life laid out for all to see and mentions that he’s been getting anonymous calls from someone trying to get access to his mailbox security code etc.

While I’m the first to warn against sensationalist media that tries to paint a portrait of the Internet as a « dangerous » place, this does serve as a good reminder of the context in which we agree to evolve when we go online. This article does a compelling job of driving the point home.

As you said during our conversation, the traces left by your children now could (potentially) be referenced by their employers (or enemies, or future fathers-in-law) down the line.

And even if we’ve gotten to the point where Obama can admit to having done cocaine and still be elected President, anyone interested in political office would do particularly well to take all of this into consideration.

Hope this doesn’t give you too many nightmares.

Flattery will get you everywhere (or how to get good Google love)

Flattery is the gift that keeps on giving, in the online world.

I was certainly flattered to be singled out by the ever charming Muriel Ide, along with four other bloggers, to receive the ‘Prix Arte y pico’ prize.  Created by a designer from Uruguay named Eseya, this prize has been making the rounds here in Quebec for a couple of months, but I’ve yet to see it on an English-language blog, so I’m pleased to take the opportunity to spread the love to the ROC. 

The rules of the game, as translated into English on Eseya’s Arte et pico blog:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contrubuites to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of « Arte y pico« blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

Nice intiative, all around.  Especially if you’re intelligent enough to realize that it can go a long way to getting you precious inbound links for your blog.  And, as they say, ‘render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s’.  With a blog that has garnered 4,566 blog reactions and a Technorati rank that breaks the top 500 at 401, Eseya is obviously the biggest benefactor of this viral initiative.  And so she should be.

So as a hat tip to Eseya, and out of respect for my fellow bloggers, I’ve decided to join the fun and submit my list.  For some reason, here in Quebec, the prize has been shared between women.  I’m going to buck that trend today, because there are some men out there whose blogs and podcasts I would be hard pressed to live without.    So without further ado, and in no particular order:

1. Bob LeDrew – all around nice guy, his FlackLife blog is always interesting.  More than once, he’s pointed me in a new direction and given me food for thought.  So thanks, Bob

2. Dave Fleet – all around nice guy (hmm .. starting to sense a pattern), Dave is a true collaborative blogger, sharing valuable tips and creating the Social Media Training Wiki for PR professionals.  Cheers, Dave!

3. Donna Papacosta – the queen of podcasting shares her expertise not only through the Trafcom News blog and podcast, but also through interesting webinars.  Always generous with her time and recommendations.  And, dare I say it? An all-around nice chick.

4. Joe Thornley – where would we be without the father of Third Tuesdays and of the Pro PR blog?  Joe was smart enough to know a good thing when he saw one and introduced the Third Tuesday concept to Canada a couple of years ago.  He’s a thoughtful blogger who lives and breathes social media.

5. Dave Jones and Terry Fallis – the hosts of PR podcast ‘Inside PR’ are engaging, funny, smart and make listening to a business podcast a real pleasure.  I never miss a week and am certain to walk away from each episode with a nugget of wisdom.  Thanks, Dave and Terry, for the 125 (and counting) episodes of Inside PR.  Now if only Dave would let Terry bring back ‘Inside Proper English’ …

I don’t think this should be seen as a kind of ‘chain letter’ (it certainly isn’t meant that way) but rather as an honest recognition of fellow bloggers who enrich my knowledge of social media on a daily basis.  Bob Ledrew and Dave Fleet, in particular, might feel a little overwhelmed, considering I just tagged them both in my 6 things meme last week.  If you decide to continue to share the love, all the better.