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Wednesday, 09. August 2006 - 00:04

Data traces 1: Have you already googeled your boy friend today? [Update]

Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutsch verfügbar (empfohlen).

This is the first part of the series “data traces”, a bunch of posts that explain, where you leave intended or unintended data behind and why this is good or bad. You can find more information in the initation post of this series.

Okay, let's start slowly. One thing, that you certainly have done before: Searched a name in a searchengine like Google. Especially you've searched your own name, the name of a friend.

One the first view, that can be quiet funny. But it has extensive consequences. One of the “main problems” of today's web and the IT-industry is, that memory capacity is very cheap. To say it in other words: The web can't forget.

Imagine, that in 10 years someone asks you about a forum post you did today. In that forum post you discussed about your opinion about a special topic. Meanwhile your opinion has admittedly changed and you have to argue why you have this or that opinion now.
For example I don't like. that one of the first results of a Google query with my name is a post in a forum about hardware. I posted a question there two years ago, that sounds quite amateurish. Let's assume I'm currently searching a job and the corresponding personalbureauemployee would google for me. That will be a clear minus for me, because this employee may not bother about the date.
One has often read reports in the blogosphere (Example), that for instance an american frontier functionary has typed in the name of the preferable arabian person into a search engine, during the entry process. The functionary is looking if the person who wants into the land has a blog and perhaps he or she is posting anti-american content (such persons are normally blogging in english, because they get more attention and they have fewer problems with the authorities in their own land.).

How are my data coming into searchengine x at all?

Searchengines are autonomously browsing the web. Because of the linking of websites (through links) the searchengine can find new sites on their own in a fast and effective way and without a manual data input. If you are posting a message into a guestbook or into a forum this site will be found earlier or later by a searchengine-crawler and it will be inserted in the searchengine index. After a short time, your name can be queried with the query field on the searchengines website.


The internet may be a “law free space”, but that doesn't mean, that everything is consequencless. Even with searchengines, informations about every person can be found very easily. In my opinion that does not mean that you should post with a pseudonym. Far from it, you should develop a feeling, which personel information you are revealing. That applies both for the internet and the real life.

This article was posted in english on 14th of august 2006. Due to technical system attributes the displayed date of this post is the date of the original artice, that was written in german.

Filed under: Geek stuff
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Last update of this entry was at: Monday, 14. August 2006 - 23:22


  1. Hannah wrote at 05/09/06 - 11:34:39
    Für mich bedeutet es allerdings schon, dass es einfacher ist, unter Pseudonymen zu posten, ist doch irgendwie unheimlich...
  2. Philipp Söhnlein (Website) wrote at 06/09/06 - 23:22:43
    Hm, ja... Ich muss dir teilweise schon recht geben. Ich versuche eben bei allem was ich schreibe mir der Konsequenzen bewusst zu sein und poste deshalb mal weiter unter Realname. Ich habe irgendwie ne Abneigung gegen Pseudonyme. Liegt aber wohl auch an der Art des Pseudonyms. Wenn jemand aus "Alexander Hanser" AlexHan (Namen sind frei erfunden und zufällige Übereinstimmungen mit realen Personen sind nicht beabsichtigt (Smiley: grin)) macht ist das noch okay. Wenn derjenige aber dann zu SweetMegaChecker65 wird, ist das was anderes, finde ich.


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