I’ve been crazy busy the last week, hence the lack of real updates. So, a quick observation and a couple of jumbled thoughts to keep things ticking over here (as you may tell from my archive, I fall more into the “post often” than “post well” category – my blog is a work in progress collection of unedited thoughts and observations, rather than the finished article (so to speak)).
My observation is thus:
In the month of July, according to Comscore, the 95th most popular domain in the UK – with almost 2m unique users and 10m page impressions – was… Geocities.
My first thought was – huh? Geocities is still going?
After visiting the site, I can see that it still functions. Barely. But it has seen better days.
Yet it is still there. And still collecting more traffic than asda.co.uk, travelsupermarket.com and hmv.co.uk – the 3 sites directly below it in the July rankings.
Site owners rarely pull the plug online – though hosting companies might. What we publish online lasts forever. From Google Cache to the Wayback Machine via tools I am not savvy enough to know about, we will always have a digital footprint.
But one day. whether it is through Open ID, Friendfeed or whatever interoperability that Google decide to bless us with, we will eventually become joined up.
Do I want that link to the past? Things I publish under the curiouslypersistent name (or derivatives thereof) form part of a coherent persona. Do I want that to be linked to things I have forgotten about and things I would rather forget from my past that are completely contrary to who I am now?
I notice that some of the newer sites allow you to change your username. This can allow one to align their personal brand by porting over to a new name and removing certain content. But just because it no longer exists in the current doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. And if a prospective employer decided to carry out a thorough online sweep of an interviewee?
Can there truly be a separation from work and life? Business and pleasure? Church and state?
The Internet is always on. And there is no escape.
NB: As a sidenote, I am planning to redesign this blog. When I finally get around to it, I will be incorporating feeds to my other online footprints.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deia/