The Transparent Library: When Worlds Collide

MC: And how do we manage this personal/professional divide? Should we be worried that supervisors “friend” subordinates on Facebook and can look into their personal lives while at the same time they must evaluate their performance? Do we go to someone’s Flickr stream or Twitter status to check on them when they call in sick? Ethical questions surround what we can now “find out” about coworkers, job applicants, potential friends, etc.

MS: Indeed! Our location-aware iPhones and applications like Loopt make it very easy to follow someone’s movements. I am both excited about broadcasting my whereabouts to trusted friends/colleagues and a little rattled when I see how easily the “nearby” functions in iPhone apps reveal one’s location—if people choose to be public with their data. Friending and un-friending is a tough call. I’ve deleted contacts in many of my networks but not others because of the transparency of the tool; I don’t want to send the wrong message. Kelly was right: transparency will play a key role in the richness of the cloud.

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