Digital Dirt

April 27, 2009

Politics and Web 2.0: Gay Man Touches Boob

Filed under: Controlling Your Digital Footprint — Tags: , , , — Danny Petre @ 12:44 pm

I still hate the phrase Web 2.0.  I think we will look back 10 years from now a say, “Oh, that wasn’t 2.0 that was Web 1.5…”  I digress.  Social networking sites are starting to rear their ugly head when it comes to crippling political candidates.  The digital dirt of Gen Y is growing like a landfill in New Jersey, and it is totally going screw many, many other politicians in the future.

Take Ray Lam, gay activist, New Democratic Party Candidate in British Columbia’s legislative election.  He has withdrawn from the race because of the below photo that was discovered on Facebook


Everybody know that gay guys, are boob guys.  So, in my opinion, he had no reason to step out of the race.  He was just having a little fun.  Rumor has it that the party is now looking for a non-gay (perhaps anti-gay) penis toucher to put forth as next their nominee.


April 23, 2009 a great new tool to expand you professional digital footprint

I just came across a great resource for expanding your active, and positive, digital footprint for the purposes of job hunting.

The website,, provides a network for you to really bring your experience and expertise to life.  Yes, it is another site to maintain, but it does serve an important role among your existing social networks and professional sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter, etc.

resumeI found VisualCV through a webinar.  Save an hour of your life and just read the details below.  The presenter, Karen Masullo, noted that the key to Web 2.0 and job hunting is transparency in the tools you use, and the information you communicate with those tools.  “You are brand you” is what she says (cute right?) so it is important to be aware of the way you are representing yourself online.

I have outlined similar steps before, but these are much clearer and more action oriented:

1) Search yourself (on Google, Yahoo, and so on).  Find out what Dirt is out there on you.  Is it positive or negative?  It is too personal, or not personal enough?  Also make sure to search nicknames, alternate spellings of your name, your email address, and even you social security number (I added that last tip).

2) Create new valuable content to push down the bad search results (if they exist).  She says you need a sound “organic search strategy [SEO].”  Duh.  Easier said than done.  I think she means this: where ever you are creating an active footprint online, you need to use terms that relate your area of expertise so you get credit for them in organic search.  Linking those closely to your name should do the trick (I think so anyway).

3) Market yourself:

  • Have a 90-second “elevator speech” prepared [in writing] and make sure you are communicating what makes YOU special
  • Have a VisualVC (I think she threw that in there because, well, it was a webinar)
  • Have a LinkedIn profile
  • Keep a blog (um, check)
  • Use Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, etc, etc, etc.  I think she means to say here: “have a freakin’ presece online.”

So what is a VisualCV?  It’s a neat little way to keep your professional experience up to speed for everyone to see.  She calls it a “perminate professional archive of your work history.”  Check mine out here!  You should update it often, even every few days.  You might be thinking, “isn’t that what LinkedIn is for?”  That’s what I thought too.  But she delineates between the two: LinkedIn is for networking and highlighting your overall experience, education, and so on.  A VisualCV is for keeping a running tab on your work.  AND it is more visual, as the name suggests.  You have the opportunity on to add video of your work, PDFs, letters of recommendation, association and corporate logos, etc.

The important thing to note is that you need to tie all the pieces of your professional digital footprint together.  Links to and from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and you VisualCV are important because each should serve a different and specific purpose.

Blatantly obvious tip that you should have learned in high school (unless the internet didn’t exist then) is to have an email address that resembles  Not

April 22, 2009

Facebook: “we gave you a choice…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Danny Petre @ 10:10 pm


UPDATE to my UPDATE on my post “Your Facebook profile Isn’t Yours” from a couple months ago about Facebook’s privacy policy.

I logged on to Facebook today and the top of the page screamed democracy… 

It said:  

On February 26, Facebook announced plans to make site governance more transparent and democratic. Since that time, users and experts around the world have been providing comments on the new documents Facebook proposed to govern the site and replace the existing Terms of Service – the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook Principles. Facebook has read the comments on these documents and has revised the documents based on this feedback. Now, please vote to let Facebook know which documents you think should govern the site.

To be notified about future proposed changes to the documents governing Facebook, please become a Fan of the Facebook Site Governance Page .

It says that voting started on April 16 at 12:00 pm PDT and ends on April 23 (tomorrow) at 11:59 am.  This is the first time I have seen this “Governance Vote” thing and now have less than 12 hours to actually read each terms of service agreement.  God, there is never enough time for democracy.  I am desperate to be a part of this online nation we call Facebook, but I don’t have the time!  (Note the large dose of sarcasm please.)

The TOS agreement is like at least a thousand words.  I doubt Facebook users are capable of reading something over 140 characters in length (I know I’m not).  I think they are just doing this to one day say, “we gave you a choice. You voted we listened…… Now stop bitching.  ” 

You won this time Facebook.  It doesn’t happen often, so soak it up.

March 2, 2009

The “Mom Test”…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Danny Petre @ 11:34 am

College Kids

spaceballThe guy in this video says do the “mom test” if you are applying for college… I fear it is not that easy.  He says, just delete photos and text on your Facebook account that you wouldn’t want your mom to see then you will get into college!  Oh yeah, “just delete it.” 


I’d ask him one question:

1)      What about information (photos, videos, text, etc) that friends have posted of you or that live on other website that you don’t have control over?  How do you get rid of that Dirt mister guy with the Buzz Lightyear action figure “college admission specialist”?


My advice:  I’ve said it before, “don’t post anything you wouldn’t want anyone other than your friends (moms included) to see.”  Then you don’t have to worry about cleaning it up.  I wonder if one day there will be an online etiquette class in 6th graders.  It could the new “technology” class (I remember when I was in 7th grade “shop class” became “technology” and “home economics class” was done away with!)


Sorry I couldn’t embed the video (WordPress sucks)…

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!

February 16, 2009

Your Facebook profile Isn’t Yours

Filed under: Controlling Your Digital Footprint — Tags: , , , — Danny Petre @ 7:25 pm


I just logged onto Facebook and found this note at the top of my homepage.  A great example of the power that consumers (and traditional media) have in today’s world.



“Terms of Use Update

Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.”





Facebook, has over 150 million users.  It also now owns the information that those 150 million post to their and other Facebook profiles.  As reported on The Consumerist site, Facebook has removed some important information from their Terms of Service agreement and added even more important information that we all should be aware of.


             The removed TOS language:

“You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

The added TOS language:

“The following sections will survive any termination of your use of the Facebook Service: Prohibited Conduct, User Content, Your Privacy Practices, Gift Credits, Ownership; Proprietary Rights, Licenses, Submissions, User Disputes; Complaints, Indemnity, General Disclaimers, Limitation on Liability, Termination and Changes to the Facebook Service, Arbitration, Governing Law; Venue and Jurisdiction and Other.


So what’s this mean for you as a Facebook user?  Everything you post to Facebook they legally own.  But there are some sum rumblings out there in the blog world that only information that you post on social groups, other people’s walls, etc are the property of Facebook if you cancel your account.

Word to the wise: don’t put anything out there, on Facebook or otherwise, that you don’t want to forfeit the rights to or that you don’t want anyone have access to or stumble upon.  



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