Digital Dirt

February 17, 2009

Playing in the Mud


Me Playing in Literal Mud

Me Playing in Literal Mud

Over the past three weeks I have intentionally been expanding my Digital Dirt.  An active and healthy digital footprint, like your sex life, can help you in many ways.  First, it helps get the the “good” Dirt about you higher in search results.  Second, it allows you to have some sense of control over the information that is out there on you.   Active creation of your digital footprint is the only way you can actually “control” your Dirt, for your passive digital footprint the best you can do is manage it. 


What I have done:

I started a Twitter account.  In the past three weeks I have only Twitted (I think that is the/a verb) three times.  I am struggling to fit Twitter into my daily online behavior.  I am constantly on Facebook, my iGoogle page, LinkedIn, and various blogs (this one included), but I can’t seem to find time to obsessively Twit.  Oh well…  Maybe when I’m done with grad school and I have more free time.

A bigger step: I have registered two domain names: and  Since I am relatively remedial at building a website I have been consulting The Site Wizard for guidance.  A very helpful site that walks you through step-by-step from selecting domain names, to selecting a web host, and finally the actual design of the site.  I will keep everyone posted on when my site goes live.  Hopefully within the next week.  I used GoDaddy to register my domains and they have been very helpful, but their site usability is trash.  I let them know that when they made their follow-up call this morning.


So, what should I include on my website?  Recommendations are welcome!



  1. re: website recommendations. danny, tell us what you’re doing muddin’ on that motorcross! 🙂

    serious note: i always enjoy “projects”-based websites. i like to see people’s pet projects, as they often criss-cross borders between their personal and career lives. it’s not always easily to categorize our goals and pursuits, but a website is a good way to show your vision and tell stories about what you do (for money, and for free).

    a recent example is my friend laurel’s site built from free web-builder app Weebly (

    Comment by spanelo — February 18, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  2. Do you think I am taking the “dirt” analogy too far? What can I say? I’m a very multifaceted person. Growing up, with two older brothers and a father that was an ex-motocross racer, I had the pleasure of learning to ride motorcycles, etc. Once a year my friends and I travel to the Catskills for a long weekend and have boys time (but girls are allow and often partake in the activities).

    Thanks for the website reco. I like Laurel’s site. And I LOVE the idea of adding a projects page. I have a ton of projects that cross from work, to grad school, to life that I haven’t started because I have ZERO time. I think seeding them on my personal site might help me shape them and form actionable baby steps.

    Comment by dannypetre — February 18, 2009 @ 10:54 am

  3. In case it helps, my plan for my website is to lay low and hold the name until after ACP, when I’ll make time and be ready for the next adventure after grad school. I tried a family album type thing but good ol’ Kodak Gallery was easier (as where may other services where I already spread my dirt), that I saw no point in re-creating the wheel. Securing the name is the best first step, so I say don’t rush or feel pressure. Obviously you’re not remedial in other digi-ways. 🙂

    Comment by christypill — February 23, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

  4. Hey, Danny. I really love the idea of “digital dirt” and maybe that becomes the topic of your site. Become the expert at something REALLY specific. If you do a personal page, doesn’t that just compete with your Facebook page (but without the bells, whistles and connectivity)?

    Hey, here’s a question: Given the sexist, sophomoric advertising that GoDaddy does, did you have any second thoughts of registering your site with the brand?

    I’ve used GoDaddy for years–out of habit–but the garbage they put out has given me second thoughts. But that would mean I would need to re-register all of the URLs I own with another service (what a hassle) and that’s prevented me from acting on my own conscience.

    Comment by Frank Oswald — February 24, 2009 @ 11:01 am

  5. Frank, I agree: could compete with Facebook. But I use Facebook with some pretty tight privacy setting (you know, to control my Dirt). So I see a personal page as my very public, and controlled, resume. But we’ll see. I think focusing on something specific is important.

    As for! I’m glad you brought this up. Because until about two years ago, I though Go Daddy was a porn site. Their advertising certainly suggested it was. I’m amazed that I, a young advertising professional, didn’t know that Go Daddy sold domain names even though they had Super Bowl ads! I agree the ads are garbage. Maybe that’s why I didn’t know what they did. Plus their site usability is terrible. When I was buying my domain names I didn’t know where selecting the services I wanted ended and actual checking out began. I guess that is how they get you to buy more services…

    Comment by Danny Petre — February 24, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

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