Last month, I wrote about the ease of FriendFeed to spy on your friends. In other words, I can check someone’s Friendfeed page and get any information I want about them, including when they are actively engaged in social media activities and how much of a priority social media is to them in their online habits and information consumption.
While users can opt to have private feeds, I strive for transparency and don’t mind if my content is public. I don’t mind keeping the door to my interests open and allowing people to get to know me or to know about the content that interests me.
However, in the past few months, I’ve been running into content that doesn’t necessarily fit in with my interests. Is it misleading to endorse content that someone pitches to you when you don’t necessarily agree with it (or have no interest in it) and then have it publicly available on your feed for all to see? Now that Friendfeed aggregates every social site you use (for the most part — they’re still missing some), anyone can see that you’ve just thumbed up that article on how to find porn behind a WebSense firewall even though you may have done it as a favor to your friend. (Or maybe not.)
With Friendfeed, your information is now more public than ever. You may be trying to be as open as possible, but some of the information you’re thumbing up or voting upon simply isn’t you, or at least it’s something you don’t want the world to know. FriendFeed is just another tool to let the world know who you really are on top of Facebook and LinkedIn (and perhaps your blogs). At this point, beyond your deepest darkest secrets that you don’t publish online, there may be nothing necessarily left (or at least required) for people to create a whole profile about you.
As a result, I’ve changed my behavior on what I vote upon. I’m overly cautious about what I promote because of the possible misconceptions it may cause. Have you changed the way you engage in social media because of the perceptions you may create, perhaps wrongfully (or rightfully)?
If you have, you aren’t alone — but how many of you actually are really cognizant that what you do online can be tracked back to you at any time and is now made all the more easier with tools like Friendfeed?