Me and My Webshadow

So posting has been a bit slow recently. I blame this on not being at Uni for four weeks*, combined with going on holiday which led to being a bit less busy and hectic than usual, which meant somehow it was more difficult to find time for all the stuff I was fitting in previously, like training for that rather scary race and keeping the Tough Gaffs blog updated too.. Summer term has now started so expect blogging and training to resume.

One thing I have managed to do with more success of late is go to a few events, in fact over the past week, all of which were interesting for various reasons and will be covered in another post shortly. The first was the launch of Antony Mayfield’s book, Me and My Web Shadow: How to manage your reputation online. Mayfield described the launch event as a cross between a christening and a job interview, as the assorted crow sat on sofas, or the floor, to listen to the rationale behind the book and ask questions, it felt a little more like story time with teacher. I regret not taking notes as many of themes that Mayfield touched upon as he described the content have been explored a little here over the past two years. Things such as privacy and why we need itwhat Google knows about us and a slightly prescient post questioning of social networks will set the social norms. There was also a discussion about people protecting their reputations for the sake of their future selves.

I finally flicked through the book last night, mainly as its due to be handed over the person I bought it for this weekend and I’d not already done so. Mayfield said he wrote the book with Hotmail users in mind, and wanted to provide a Haynes Manual for online self-protection and he’s answered his own brief perfectly. The person who I bought it for is concerned about what their shadow is, would firmly describe themselves as a digital immigrant and will, I hope, relish, this useful guide that they can dip in and out of. As Gmail user and if not a digital native, then at least a visa holder with full residency rights, I picked up an awful lot of useful tips  and reminders about tools and techniques I’ve not used in a while.

If I had to offer one criticism, then it would be that I’m not sure the term anomie offers an accurate reflection of the confusion people feel about the fluidity of online etiquette as new technologies and communication methods evolve. Aside from that, I’d heartily recommend it as a useful refresher for the gmailer and an essential part of the book collection to lend out to worried hotmailers.

*If this is true, expect Niff, Naff to be mothballed from July to October.

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