Monday, January 02, 2006

Skeletons in the Closet

It is amazing to me just how persistent the Internet can be. I was an early adopter. While studying Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I worked for the College of Engineering's Computer Aided Engineering Network (aka CAEN). And, roughly one year after the World-Wide Web was invented by NCSA, I was there developing web pages and doing web programming. My impression? The WWW was a wonderful educational tool, but it would never succeed commercially. Eh-hem. Well, I've been wrong once or twice.

Anyhow, it wasn't surprising that my first job out of college was working for a company that developed web sites. Specifically, I was the programmer. Anyhow, during that era (circa 1996), you may or may not recall a push for a certain Communications Decency Act. There was much debate about this, and I was one in favor of it. At that time, I wrote up an argument in support of the CDA and published it to my personal website. This article was linked to by many other CDA supporters, and eventually the entire article was copied to another website.

The website that I originally used to publish this has long since vanished, but my article has not. This, despite the fact that the CDA was eventually defeated, and the article is rather moot now.

You see, I often will do a Google search on my name to see what comes up. Much of it isn't suprising. Several links related to the diabetes software I sell on Palmgear and Handango, a few other software-related pages, plus several concerning this blog. Many of the links don't have a thing to do with me...but with people who happen to share my name. There is also a piece of software that I offered as Freeware back in my Amiga programming days.

I guess the point is that if there are any skeletons in the closet of your Internet presence, they will follow you for who knows how long. It is kind of scary, in a way. And while I, at this point, have nothing posted that I regret at this point (at least that I can find!), it does cause one to wonder. I mean, here I am blogging about my life, sharing little gems of wisdom. Ten years from now, will I look back at this and regret any of it?

So, a word of caution: Be careful what you say on the Internet...because it might live on to haunt you in years to come!


Kerri. said...

I often think about the candid posts I've offer up on my blog, and then I think about the kids I've yet to have and my mother (who currently reads my blog) and the thought of them reading the candid posts I've offered up on my blog...

It becomes rather cyclical but the point is this: Oh Shit.

RyanBruner said...

I suppose it is wise advice to say that if what you are about to say in any public forum (including the internet) is something you would say with your mother, father, wife, husband, or children reading over your shoulder, then by all means, go ahead. Otherwise, you might just want to rethink. It is a nice method of self-censorship.

Kerri. said...

It's a tangled web we weave.

(Web ... internet ... I told you, I'm crap at puns but I can't seem to stop myself.)