For the homework for this week, I looked at Evan Ratliff, Digital Tattoo, and Build a Digital Footprint You Can Be Proud Of. Digital Tattoo was the first place I explored, mostly because the name intrigued me. After poking around the site for a bit (I found the quizzes interesting, and it reminded me to clear out my computer cookies) I ended up at pilp.com. If you look up my name, I am non-existant. There are a million different women around the world with my name, and none of their 50+ suggestions was actually me. So, after reading Building a Digital Footprint You Can Be Proud Of, I tried googling my name – also nothing. This is complicated by the fact that the actor who played the Yellow Power Ranger in the remake of the Power Rangers has my name. Any search comes up with her, not me. You can’t even find me on the public facebook search. However, looking up my online username was something else. There is apparently only one person with my online pseudonym actively online, and that is me. The first 10 pages all have stuff that is mine (and some weird stuff that isn’t, of course). I also ran my pseudonym through pilp, and it was the same. While my age wasn’t right (it placed me as two years older than I am), and my ‘influential topics’ were completely hilarious (apparently I talk a lot about Sherlock Holmes, tea, and internet identity) it was mostly correct. The only thing that it said that was really wrong was that my flickr stream was owned by Eric Hoefler, who was my high school creative writing teacher. I still don’t understand why it thought that. Thankfully, it didn’t seem to me that anything I found was particularly scandalous. While Building a Digital Footprint You Can Be Proud Of says “be wary of people out there on the Internet with the same name as you” I think it is kind of hilarious that someone trying to google me would come up with Yellow Power Ranger. I think there are worse cyber twins I could have.
The Evan Ratliff pice was a little more disturbing. I found it to be a fascinating read, but also, the idea of how much is trackable is somewhat disturbing. And having your information viewed by thousands of people, hunting for you? I admire Evan Ratliff for deciding to do what he did. I certainly wouldn’t have been willing to do so.