Week 3 of Digital Footprints was about digital citizenship. As part of the discussions, our presenter, Scott Monahan, suggested that we google our names to investigate what our online presence looks like. I had a student teacher a few years who told me she had googled me before beginning her student teaching with me. She had nothing but complimentary things to say, but I was taken aback. Obviously it's a quick way to get background on someone, but I had never considered that anyone would do this on me.
Many, many pages were available when I googled my name. There are a few other people with my name, as is to be expected, but a lot of the results are actually me. There are links to sites I belong to, like Facebook and Twitter, one for my school web page, several YouTube videos of music performances that I played in, my father-in-law's obituary, an article I wrote a few years ago, and every comment I ever made on numerous blogs. Doing this reminded me of several places that I no longer wanted to be, so I took the opportunity to remove myself. I also found myself on a few sites that I had never heard of -- these seem to be entities that collect information from people's digital footprints in order to sell this information. That explains some of the emails I had been getting at work. I was able to remove myself from one of these.
As I looked further I found myself on Picasa and Flicker. The strangest place I found myself was on a blog called Blonde Research where a video of Mozart piece I played in a few years ago was posted. In fact, all the YouTube videos of performances had migrated to other sites, none of which I had heard of.
It was an interesting experience. Overall, my digital footprint is positive, but it is a little disturbing to find out that I am being seen and heard in places that I had of. I'd be interested to hear what other people find when they google themselves.