I keep a lot of names on my Technorati watchlist. Most of the names are elected officials. I keep phrases on my watchlist too, like “school funding ohio.” And yes, I even have my own name on the list, so I can see where it gets mentioned and by whom.
Today, an elected official’s name came up on a MySpace page. At first, I thought, might be the wrong person – a mistaken identity – always need to verify. So I went a bit deeper and could see that the MySpace person is in Ohio, the person has a few things very much in common with the elected official, and in all likelihood, the name mentioned on the page (the one on my watchlist) was indeed the person for whom I try to find news.
Anything scandalous in the MySpace entry? Eh. We’ve also seen what people can turn into scandal but probably not, although some expletives are used in the paragraph that the MySpace person writes to the watchlisted person. So, why bother mentioning this?
Because it’s not a completely innocent page to someone who would be interested in tabloid blogging. And the elected official mentioned probably doesn’t monitor this kind of stuff but, given the recommendations people have been making about how everyone would be well advised not to expose themselves on places like MySpace, if any elected official suspects that this might be him or her, I’d urge you to search for your name on Technorati and see what comes up, or write me and I’ll let you know. Because if you do want to know if it’s you, I would in fact urge you to ask the friend to remove the reference.
Lesson learned for all of us: You can do a lot to keep yourself out of and off of such collections of memories etc. But you cannot control what others do with their words of admiration for you.