When hell freezes over. Or when a blizzard buries Phoenix. Or when the cubs win the world series. 9

CogDogBlog writes:

That is when I may consider following someone with protected updates.

Watchya hiding?

I don’t wanna know,

I ain’t interested.


9 thoughts on “When hell freezes over. Or when a blizzard buries Phoenix. Or when the cubs win the world series.

  • Lee

    I guess there could be valid reasons. But truthfully and if you are here to participate: have one or more accounts to separate the personal from the private.

    First, what we sometimes forget is that people are interesting and interested in us. And typically the people interested in us are not malicious. Let people into your life and you actually may learn something. About yourself, other people or even greatly widen your sphere of how huge and diverse human thought is. That’s happens through conversation.

    Second, I’m not sure why people are treating their digital bits the same as their physical bits. In some ways, it’s easier to separate out parts of the self online. To do so simply means you have to apply some critical thinking to how you want to “be” in different places and spaces.

    -Lee, TTW Contributor.

  • Kyle

    “…have one or more accounts to separate the personal from the private.”

    This is how I filter my own social networks. My personal, personal life is highly locked down on Facebook to a select group of 30-40 friends who may actually care about my daily ramblings or random photos. But for Twitter and another Facebook account, I’m all professional. That’s not to say that everything I write or photo I post is a seminal piece of work, but it is related to me as a student, a future librarian, and, in general, a professional. I’ve still been able to build some professional relationships that have been friendly and fun.

    “…it’s easier to separate out parts of the self online.”

    I think it may be easier for us to see this, Lee, because we are of a generation that always began our online ventures with avatars and pseudonyms. We were of the generation where we were told that creepy people were in every chat room and on every site. Now, either today’s generation is just plain ignoring this warning or they don’t care, I don’t know – but they, unlike us, are typically building their digital dossier with one identity. Hopefully, they are taking some proper protective precautions. Sadly, I see too many students not locking down their Facebook accounts when they should be…

    -Kyle, TTW Contributor

  • Andrew

    I see your point Lee about having different accounts and it’s a good one, but I see a few problems with it. Basically remembering. Remembering another account name and password, which account is your private one and which one is your public one, and when you are logged on remembering which account your logged into when you post a message. Eventually one of the accounts gets neglected and if it’s your private one great, but if its the personal one then those that have found you lose out.

    I also thinks it can be difficult to separate out the personal from the professional at times, because you start to consider the people that you interact with on sites like Twitter friends. I may not see them in person more than once a year if ever, but I still consider them friends. Whether they all feel the same way or not I don’t know, but I know some of them do want to know how I am both personally and professionally. I kept my twitter stream locked, because at times it has been my place to seek advice/support on an issue that the rest of the world didn’t need to know about. I still had the chance to share with people, but it wasn’t open to everyone under the sun finding me. I’m experimenting with leaving Twitter open and keeping Friendfeed locked, but I’ll be posting less to Twitter.

    Lee and Kyle I think you both have valid points, but I think everyone has different experiences that lead them to lock their account. They want to participate in a conversation, but want to do it selectively so they aren’t being followed by spammers. I don’t thinks there is a right or wrong way to participate, but everyone needs to be allowed to have their way and time to connect in these spaces.

  • Kath

    It’s difficult because Twitter doesn’t offer some other form of protection. While you want the posts to be broadcast, you don’t want it opened up to the likes of the phishing spam that went out over the past few days, those Twitterers that harass you trying to sell something or general weirdos. I’m wondering if Twitter can build in a little more protection around that?

  • Kathryn Greenhill

    This is the comment I made on Alan’s photo after seeing it here:

    I have conversations on Twitter that I wouldn’t have otherwise if my updates were unprotected and google-able.

    Twitter is a flexible tool that can be used differently by different people.

    I’m not hiding anything from the people I choose to have in my Twitter community – just having more candid, less censored conversations among people I trust, using a tool that is unmatched for this kind of communication.

    I am hiding a things from spammers, old school friends who I never liked anyhow and search engines. I like the functionality of the tool, but feel like I can relax and connect more when I know I have chosen my community.

    Twitter can *also* be used as a public, google-able forum and that’s a legit use – but possibly you miss out on some of the richness and spark that people with protected updates would bring.


    I guess I’m saying that I use it more like a cafe with a big lounge where I can kick my shoes off and sometimes meet some interesting strangers, but a cafe with some degree of privacy. .. In this case I am valuing the authentic and intimate rather than the transparent.

    I have been contemplating creating a “ConferenceKathryn” twitter account so that I can tweet my conference musings publicly so everyone can see them….and so I don’t flood my tweeps.

    Interesting conversation. Thanks.

  • Lee LeBlanc

    Interesting thoughts.

    Seems we all feel Twitter misses the finer gradations on the information we choose to share.

    Could Twitter add a way via a secure, private channel to our regular twitter accounts? (not DMs) So that when you tap tap tap, within the same account, you can either reply publicly or reply privately -all within the same account.? Let only the vetted, private subscribers see your private tweets. Like Flickr. That would be a nice feature.

    Public, Private, Personal, Professional. Random, Concrete. Where oh where and how to tweet. twitter.com/iblee

  • Phil Bradley

    What I’d like is a situation where if someone has protected their updates and decides to follow someone that person is automatically allowed to see their updates. It’s really quite annoying when someone follows you and you go to follow them and have to request access. It feels as though they’re saying ‘I want to see what you’re doing but I don’t what you to see what I’m doing’.

    My default now is that I’m not going to follow someone who has protected their updates because I’m not prepared to waste those few seconds of my life requesting access and then having to check back and see if I do actually want to follow them.

    I don’t really quite get the whole concept of protected updates – if you don’t want people to see what you’re saying just don’t say it. Or say it in a private forum that is designed for the purpose.

  • Sharon c.

    There are safety reasons to consider. Protected updates are useful (for women particularly, but anyone really) when someone with serious issues attempts to follow you and thus track your movements. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. We tried out a wiki for a staff training program and someone I’ve been keeping distance from somehow discovered it and requested access to it. He wasn’t staff. He wasn’t really “getting” that the program was for staff to interact with one another, not for him to interact with me (part of the disorder he has, I’m guessing, seems to make him unable to comprehend how inappropriate this was). He’s showed up on my Facebook, and other places where I’ve had to block him. But I refuse to step out of the Web2.0/L2.0 world or to feel like I need to create a fake persona to participate in the conversation. I hate the having to block, but what else can be done? confrontation is never good when dealing with people with these types of problems…

  • Phil Bradley

    Yes, I can see where you’re coming from, and totally understand why you don’t want to have your life affected by someone else – and certainly not a stalker. Even having to make changes in your lifestyle means in some way that they ‘win’.

    Having said that – if you’ve got a wiki for a staff training program I’d want to know how he ‘somehow’ discovered it. That’s a much bigger question. And even if he did discover it, what’s wrong in denying access? If he’s on Facebook, block him, complain about him. I don’t also see why you should have to step out of a Web 2.0 world – as you point out yourself, you can simply block him in Twitter. I agree that he can then create another account and so on, but it’s easier to block than create more accounts. It’s not really confrontation in that sense, it’s a very passive form of denial.

    And, though I hate to say it, if the person is that much keen on stalking you, then you’ve got a whole sight bigger problems than being seen on Twitter, and it’s those which need to be addressed!

    Finally, I still don’t get it. I have lots of private stuff that I want to talk about with a few people, so I use a LiveJournal account for that, or I can create a Blogger account and limit access. It’s no big deal quite frankly. Twitter can be whatever you want it to be, and for me it’s mainly a professional tool with a bit of silly chit chat. To be honest, if you’re writing about deeply personal stuff, or stuff that might compromise your safety then you’re using the wrong tool.

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