everything is interpretation


I figured this warranted a blog post, since I've been all bloggy lately. Or as I prefer to say, I've gone all bloggo.

I'm one of those lucky (or unlucky depending how you look at it) few who are relatively easy to find with a google search. Thanks to ol' web 2.0, I show up in the top three when you just type in my first name, and if you type in my first and last name I take up almost the entire front page. I've been pretty aware of this for some time (I like to google myself and other people I know) and I know that whatever I put on the internet other people can see. But that information just happens to be a lot easier to find than some people.

I read about the goog's recent efforts to bring back some of that control over what people know about you through search by the creation of google profiles. Perhaps this is another effort for the goog to take over the world, but it's also one of those well, of course sort of features that we expect from the googletron.

I've mused about online identity in the past, but I've never really gone into any sort of depth exploring what that actually means to me. I probably won't explore this too deeply now, as I tend to keep things fairly succinct on this site (I too must be getting lazy in this age of 140 characters). Much of what I post online is seemingly personal, I am not afraid to share how I feel, a trait which is not dissimilar to what I am like in person. I am a highly emotive individual. But of course that is only a part of me. I choose what I share online and I am not ashamed of it. However, do these outlets present the best professional side of me? Do I need to take more care in highlighting my other abilities that relate to what I do for a living? It's not as if I haven't also shared that information, but it's swirled together with all of my other online explorations. What I've presented is a mix of all that I have to offer - a little bit of theoretical analysis here, some photography there, a touch of design, a smidge of caustic wit - but it's never been a focused effort to assemble those bits and pieces that I've posted here and there to provide the world with a more fully formed online version of moi. For now I've left it up to the curious individual to glean what he or she can from what I reveal about myself and to make connections and linkages for her or his own self. There's only so much control one can exert over the information on the internet - and that control really amounts to what we post online. Everything is open to interpretation. Do I really want to meddle more with that?

I read something the other day (and I can't seem to locate the original source otherwise I would link to it), but basically it said that today there is an expectation of open communication and transparency - we expect information and we expect it immediately. However, as we are more conscious of this desire for disclosure, we exert even more control over that information, in that we attempt to control the message, tailoring, structuring, spinning, strategizing and coordinating. We want to control the outcome. We want to control people's interpretations. But we can't. So I'm debating what I want to do next. I like the idea of allowing people to come to their own conclusions about me. Whether or not that involves me tending to another online space has yet to be determined.