Too Much Information?

the_withings_wi_fi_body_scale.jpgSocial networking has helped us to instantly connect to people around the world. We can share all kinds of things about our lives and update people on the other side of the planet with what we’re doing every second of the day. But how much information is too much information?

I blog, I use Facebook, Twitter and various other online applications but I still manage to keep huge amounts of information about my life private. I’m not trying to be secretive or to hide anything, it’s simply that I choose to choose what I reveal about myself and those close to me.

I don’t mind telling you that I’m trying to lose weight. I did pretty well last year, slipped up a little over the festive season, and am now back on track to start reducing the numbers on the scales again. What are those numbers? Sorry, that’s my business.

Of course if you want the world to know your exact weight every time you step on the scales you could always get a set of Withings Wifi Body Scales. I love many of the features of these scales. Just step on and they automatically record your weight, fat mass and BMI, then transmit the information to your chosen weight management application online. Brilliant. As someone who records their weight alonng with cycling statistics every day, this could be a huge boost, but I certainly wouldn’t be using the new Twitter feature.

You can select to tweet your weight every time you step on the scales or once a week, once a month or whatever you prefer. I’d prefer not to let everyone on Twitter know my weight at all but I can see that it’d be a useful feature for those seeking some external accountability.

So how much is too much? How do you draw the line on what you put online? Experts say that you shouldn’t put anything in an email or online that you wouldn’t be prepared to have splashed across the front page of newspapers around the world. Are people sharing too much? Have you ever wished that someone close to you had held back a little more? I’d be very interested in your response. Please leave me a comment or two.

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How very strange

Just in case you dropped in here over the past 48 hours and noticed some strange happenings I thought I’d let you know what was going on.

For short periods of time over the last couple of days you may have seen nothing here or perhaps some strange formatting. You may even have wondered who stole all my posts.

The simple explanation is that I changed web and domain hosts and there was a little work that needed to be done to move everything to where it needed to be.

Everything should now be as it needs to be. If, however, you do notice anything that’s out of place, please let me know.

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Turning Six

numbersix.pngIt’s now been six years to the day since I started blogging.

The first time I ever heard of blogging I thought, “What a stupid idea. Why would you want to share all your most personal thoughts with a bunch of complete strangers?”

Since that time a couple of things have happened. Firstly, I realised that I only had to share what I decided I wanted to share, and secondly, a lot of those ‘complete strangers’ have become good friends, even though I’ve never met many of them face to face.

I’ve really enjoyed the ups and downs of blogging and what you see now is rather different than the original post back on the 3rd of November 2003. I hope you enjoy what you read here and that you’ll stay with me as I enter my seventh year of blogging.

A lot has happened since I last celebrated a blogaversary. The radio station where I worked moved location. Pauline’s sister passed away from cancer. Our children changed schools. I became the father of a teenager when our daughter, Emily, turned thirteen. We’ve sold one house and bought another. We’ve moved across Perth to our new home. I’ve cycled from Perth to Albany, broadcasting from a different town each day. These are just some of the things that stand out from a very busy year.

A whole lot more has happened over the last six years but I won’t even begin to list events, that’s what blog archives are all about. Feel free to go digging through my archives and find an interesting post or two.

If you’re looking to help me celebrate my six year blogaversary there are a few things you might like to do.

  • I would really appreciate it if you added me to your blogroll or link to any of my posts that you enjoy.
  • You can get free updates of by adding your email address to the box in the top of the right hand sidebar or by subscribing to the RSS feed.
  • If you’re a StumbleUpon user you might like to Stumble a post or two. (Of course you’re welcome to do that at anytime.)
  • You may also choose to make this blog one of yourTechnorati Favourites.

On my blogaversary over the last couple of years I’ve opened the blog up for questions. I reckon it’s time to give it another go.

Most days of the week my job involves asking a number of different people to tell me more about themselves. I normally sit behind a microphone and ask others to tell me all sorts of things. It’s very safe being the one asking the questions. It’s not always quite so easy being the one on the other end of the questions.

So, are there any questions you want to ask me? Is there something you’ve been wondering about? Is there a particular subject you’d like me to post about? It can be about blogging, radio, cycling or whatever else you choose to ask about.

What do you want to know? Just leave a question or post topic in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do to respond. No promises but I’ll give it a shot.

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When Facebook Bites

confidential.jpgHere’s a free tip. If you’re a wanted fugitive, try to resist the urge to update Facebook and be careful who you choose as a Facebook friend.

Maxi Sopo has learned the hard way that what you put online can have effects other than what you may intend. The bank fraud suspect boasted on Facebook that he was living the high life in Mexico. He’s now in a Mexico City Jail waiting extradition to the United States.

“He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, who helped find Sopo. “He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing.” – CBS News

As well as his boasting, Sopo added a former Justice Department official to his list of friends. Probably not his smartest moment.

You’re unlikely to be a US fugitive but Sopo’s story got me thinking about the kinds of things that end up on blogs and social networking sites like Facebook. In this case it was ‘the law’ reading stuff that was never intended for them. I’m wondering if you ever consider that no matter what security and anonymity you think you have online, what you write or upload could very well be read by people that you’d least expect.

Much has been said about potential employers checking people out on Facebook but there are a lot of other people who could be seeing what you’re posting.

Think about the person you’d least want to know your private details. Now imagine that they have full access to everything you put online. Scary thought but it’s pretty close to the truth.

I’ve read blog posts by people complaining about someone else and I wonder if they have ever considered that the person they’re writing about could very well read their posts. I’ve seen several people change their blogs or simply drop out of blogging because someone they didn’t want to share personal stuff with has started reading and commenting.

I’ve seen some quite revealing photos on Facebook pages and wondered why people have no respect for their own decency and privacy.

If you wouldn’t like what you’re uploading to be splashed across television screens to be seen by thousands of people, don’t put it online where it can be seen by potentially millions.

I’ve been blogging for almost six years and I use Facebook quite a lot and I’m constantly asking myself whether I’m OK with the entire world reading what I have to say. I may not always get the balance right but I’m still aware that it’s not only friends that will read what I write.

Have you had your privacy compromised online? Do you consider who might read what you post? Does it concern you that once something is posted online it’s there forever, even if you delete it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments in the comments section of this post.

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The Carnival Returns

christian_carnival_lion.jpgI’m having some friends drop in next week. They’ll be visiting from all over the world and you’re invited to join us. The next Christian Carnival is being hosted here at

The most recent edition is posted at The Limitless.

The weekly Christian Carnival is an opportunity for Christian blog writers to share their best posts from the previous week. The topic of the post doesn’t necessarily have to focus on Christianity but it must reflect a Christian worldview, and the writer must be Christian to qualify. You may wish to consider that the readership of the Christian Carnival will be more varied than your usual readership, and you might do better contributing a post with broad appeal.

I’ve already received a number of contributions and I’m looking forward to offering readers of this blog some great links when the carnival is published.

If you’re a Christian and you’ve never contributed before, or if it’s been a while since you have, how about having a look through your posts for this week and choosing something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just a post that outlines your point of view or is designed to get others thinking. Being part of the carnival could be a great way to gain a little extra traffic at your blog.

The easiest way to get involved is to submit your article through the Blog Carnival Submission Form. Otherwise, you can email the submission address.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday evening at midnight, Eastern (US) Standard Time. (EST is GMT minus five hours.) That means it’s midday Wednesday here in Perth, Western Australia.

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