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More on Going Amish

Awhile back, I posted wistfully about having a ‘simpler life.’ Well, thanks to a commenter, I’ve learned about a blog that discusses how to do that in the information age.

Going Amish is a relatively new blog that discusses how to help enhance and protect your privacy on the web. It has some interesting tips and tricks, that I have not yet tried, but am familiar with some of them.

There are a couple of ironies that keep me from an unqualified endorsement. First, his comment advertising his blog was posted by “Anonymous.” Second, all you can tell about him without a lot of digging is that the blog is posted to by a marketing guy named Del, or so he claims.

Still, it makes for an interesting read and the tips may help you increase your privacy. I had a student last week tell me how she did an Internet search for me and found my FacultyLinc webpage (linked to in the right-hand column). This lack of privacy we have, especially as faculty at state institutions, is why I have the name plate by my door read,
Dr. Robb J. Wilson
(formerly a private citizen)

It’s not all bad, however. Given that information can be readily found on the Internet, we have the opportunity to take the offense and to some extent control what people find first and make it content we consciously put out there. Most search engines rank hits by how popular they are, how often material is posted on a site and other SEO (Search Engine Optimization) factors. There even companies out there now that for a fee help you make sure that what folks find first about you is what you want them to find.

Every once in a while, I do a Google search on my name and various incarnations to see what’s out there. After doing this blog for a while, it has helped direct searchers here. Fortunately, I’ve not yet found any negative sites, but I watch for things a disgruntled student might come up with to cause mischief.

Christ encourages us to ‘be as innocent as doves and as shrewd as serpents.” Knowing how to manage our presence on the Internet is consistent with following this.


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