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TrustInHomePages

The web gets scarier all the time. In a lot of ways its like David Brin's TransparentSociety -- including some peer pressure.

We place less trust in people we know nothing about, therefore -- in order to be trustworthy -- we put information about ourselves on the web. We want to prove to other people, that we are indeed trustworthy, that we do have reputation to loose and that therefore, we will try to live up to our own standards. We write a HomePage for other people to read when they are checking my background.

And so I can use /WHOIS on IRC and Google to find the resume of other people on the channel. Brrrr. My Oracle Database Tuning students can check the web and see that I'm interested in ComicBooks, AncientHistory, PlayByEmailDesign, ZenBuddhism, and TheOneAndOnly editor -- Emacs. Scary.

The same is true for my customers. I used my company's email address to post to newsgroups. From there, the link between my working life and my net life is easily made. And who knows, maybe somebody put pictures online that can be traced back to me.

Transparency cuts both ways then -- trust implies vulnerability. Maybe Brin's TransparentSociety is already building.

There is also the other way, of course. People trying to hide their real life, trusting in their own words, building a reputation again and again for every new online community they join. No cross-references. I wonder how that feels. Paranoid? Safe? Cumbersome?


SiteMap / AllPages / Out / kensanata@gmail.com / Last change: 2001-09-27