Digital Dirt

April 20, 2009

“This Is Me”


There is a very interesting project being lead out of University of Reading’s OdinLab, called “This Is Me,” which aims

“…to help people learn about their Digital Identities (DI) by producing and testing learning materials for use by individuals and groups. As part of the project we are collecting people’s stories about their DI, and you are welcome to come on in and chat about what it means to you, how you manage your identity and how important other people’s web presence is to you.”

I encourage you to check it out. There are some really hilarious stories about peoples’ digital footprint (a.k.a. DI).  Plus they have a learning center where you can do a few exercises to discover the nation of your DI. Unfortunately the site navigation sucks and and the instruction for the exercises are not at all clear.

I’m quite happy to be discovering a lot  of new resources aimed at educating people on the impact of their Digital Dirt even though I believe at one point or another your digital footprint will bit you in the ass.


February 10, 2009

You Dirty Dog

Filed under: Measuring Your Digital Footprint — Tags: , , , , — Danny Petre @ 12:00 pm



googling_yourselfIn December 2007, Pew Internet, as part of Internet & American Life Project completed a study to better understand how internet users perceive their online image and their online usage habits as it relates to Dirt.  Interestingly, and not surprisingly, most US adults have “Googled” themselves–about 60%.  Though many adults try to maintain an “active digital footprint” for image and professional purposes, such as personal web pages, social networking sites and the like, many were shocked to discover what Pew calls their “passive digital footprint.”  By passive they mean Dirt that is out there that we, the user, did not intend or know was available.  21% were surprised how much  information was out there on them (and that was just a Google search).  60% say they are worried about the amount of Dirt that exists in the digital world, and a full 61% want to limit said Dirt; yet only 21% are actively making attempts to reduce their digital information.

In my next post I will shed some light on how you can go about understanding the size and nature of your Dirt.  And ultimately how you can attempt to manage it.  In the mean time check out: 

EMC2 has a tool (one of many tools out there) that helps you measure your Dirt and keeps a running tally once you answer a few question on a downloadable application (a.k.a. more Dirt).    After answering a few questions about your habits (like do you drive to work or take public transportation?) it tells you how many bites of Dirt exist in the digital world, but it doesn’t tell you what the Dirt is, or where to find it, or how to get rid of it (or exploit it for that matter).  Since January 1, 2009 I have about 22,0000,0000,000 bites of information.  Yes, 22 billion bites of information!  



February 7, 2009

Lets Get Dirty

Filed under: Measuring Your Digital Footprint — Tags: , , , — Danny Petre @ 3:32 pm

Dirt: gossip, information.  Interestingly, according to Urban Dictionary, “dirt” can also mean: “criminal activity. e.g. ‘doing dirt…muthaf***a!'” Thank you Devdawugla for that contribution to society.  The digital world is full of Dirt.  ON ME, ON YOU, ON EVERYONE.  Even my mom who doesn’t even know how to turn a computer on has a Digital Dirt out there.  She has EZpass, a credit card, a phone, a cell phone, and this list goes on.  The common phrase for our digital existence is Digital Footprint.  This includes everything on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, dating sites, discussion boards, and so on.

This blog will focus on the Dirt that’s out there on us.  Who’s collecting it, how their using it, what we should be doing to protect ourselves and limit the amount of Dirt out there.  I’ll also look at how the Dirt can help us.  A positive personal image, and the image of brands online is important given that the web is an ever increasing resource of information.  

Check out to measure your digital footprint over the course of a typical day: Digital Footprint Grid

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