Some Days

Ah, some days, I wonder if I should get out of bed. I woke up this morning to email from someone I had written about who had bones to pick with me. I wrote what I thought was fair, and I exposed my assumptions so those who disagree with my fundamentals can dispute or ignore my conclusions. But that doesn't make it easier for the person I wrote about to accept external opinions about them, even when they're a public figure.Google makes it harder to have a public/private journal. When I write about anything on this blog -- the Maine laptops program, for instance -- because my blog has so much Google PageRank Whuffie, my post immediately rises to the top, sometimes within a few days, as a match for that term. For instance, search Google for Maine laptop program, and my post is the fifth result, and third site listed. After posting an item a few weeks ago about the consistent lack of hard data to be coupled with the soft data that the program was collecting, someone involved in the analysis of its success emailed me to take me to task and pointed me to published research. Unfortunately, in my analysis, the published reports actually demonstrated much more clearly than any of the reportage of the program that they had no hard data on absenteeism, improvement in test scores, or other measures that could be correlated. The point, however, is that Google has removed my ability to have a simultaneous personal/private/public space. Before become so highly ranked at Google, I could post items that a few hundred people would read. It was public, but someone had to come looking for it. Now, anything I write becomes public/public/public: it's almost immediately more important than it needs to be. Don't believe me? I posted a photo of a robin outside my window under the title Robin Redbreast. This post is the fifth site match for that term on Google. An even better example: I posted an item about Cingular and the time it took to switch my wife's phone over to my account to reduce our bills. It's been a few days, and Google puts me in the top 30 results for Cingular. Oy. So I have to weigh my words more carefully. I have to think that anything I write will be read by anyone and everyone. In the words of Ben Stiller's parody of Yakov Smirnov, "I miss former Soviet Union." (Now just wait: this post will be a top match for Soviet Union in a few days.)