I’ve become quite a strong advocate for downplaying the fear mongering and safety concerns of online life that have been proven false. At the same time, I’ve spent much more time with teachers and classrooms talking about what to watch out for and how to make good choices.
I generally see the internet as a public place. I’ve also said as Scott McNealy has, that privacy is dead. While I do realize there are more safer places to engage in private activity, in general it’s best to see the internet as a public space. I also believe and try to model that you don’t say things online that you wouldn’t say in person. (Notice all the trackbacks to my own blog, the more I add, the more of a hypocrite I am) Saturday I violated this rule.
Graham Wegner had a rather light-hearted post about spelling and Matthew Tabor picked it up and in an effort to be funny and make a point, posted content I felt went over the top in terms of etiquette and manners. I’m not about to rehash that argument, you can feel free to post on his blog if you like. I made my initial comment on his blog then posted to twitter and used the word “obnoxious” to describe Matthew. I would have never called him that to his face. I hadn’t intended for Matthew to see that. How did Matthew know I called him obnoxious? First of all his stats told him of the numbers of people visiting his blog from twitter. While 98% of people not using twitter wouldn’t know about TweetScan, Matthew did. It’s not that I regret posting the item to twitter it’s calling him obnoxious that was wrong. I might have whispered it to friends or used that word in private conversations but not publicly. I’ve done this a few times where I’ve gotten so comfortable using Twitter that I’ve forgotten, it’s not private. I could turn on the privacy key in twitter and allow only those that I choose to see my tweets but for a lot of reasons, that doesn’t feel right to me. I’m proud of my online trail of breadcumbs and value openness more than privacy when it comes to online life.
For me twitter is an echo chamber and that’s okay. It’s a place to hang out with like minded folks, exchange links, lament your sick kids, invite others to help you out and participate in some good natured fun. It’s not meant to push my thinking. It’s more of a group than a network. I get pushed and seek diversity here and in other spaces and also support debate. That’s why I subscribe to people like Matthew, to push me and he did. In this case to also reveal my own weakness and error. My apologies and thanks Matthew.
PS. I still disagree with your post 😉