Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Identity theft vs mistaken identity

I went to a seminar recently hosted by Laurel Papworth, in which was discussed the methods of managing your reputation online. We heard about people who have an alter ego (someone with the same name that they get confused with in online searches), and others whose online presence is nothing but a few personal posts in a health forum (not something you particularly want an employer to find).

Ever since, I have been meaning to Google myself (“ego-surf”) to see what came up. I haven't done it for a while...

I just did it (here) and am really rather pleased!

Of the top ten results on the first page of results (essentially all that matters) when searching for Emily Wearmouth you get:

1) This blog
2) A random old post from this blog (wonder why that post?)
3) My Dry July sponsorship page (incidentally when you google Dry July I am the third result!! Weird)
4) My Twitter profile
5) A random Tweet I made about chocolate (wonder why that tweet?)
6) My blogger profile
7) A comment I made on another blog
8) My company’s website, reporting the news of my joining last year
9) My LinkedIn profile
10) A very very old press release for a client I am bizarrely working with again on the other side of the world

So everything is me, and everything is stuff I create to be public content. My Facebook profile hides away in Google searches (which I specified in my settings), my other blogs lurk a little in the background (at least one is easily found if you go looking, but its single topic does not dominate my online identify by appearing here). I think the only thing I would change if I could would be the posts and tweets it chose (they aren’t very representative), and the aging press release.

It is interesting to think on your ego search results for a while. Many are afraid to put too much of themselves online for fear of identity theft, but isn't mistaken identity just as bad? My heavy online activity has ensured that any prospective employer googling me (or indeed future mothers-in-law even!) will only find things about me, that I have chosen to put out there. It isnt until page 2 that you even get one random result about a different Emily Wearmouth.

Its all about managing your online identity - including its security - and I am pleased with how mine is going.

Light Up The World With A Smile today

When I was little I had a brilliant plan to become Prime Minister. I was going to run for election on the back of a ‘Light Up Britain With A Smile’ campaign. The premise was simple. I would smile at a couple of people in the street. They would be bitten by the smiley bug and would in turn smile. Their smiles would be seen by two more people and the smile would spread quickly around the world. Because everyone smiles unconsciously in response to a random person smiling as they go about their day. Smiles are infectious.

I would of course use some nice media interviews to make sure everyone knew I started the smile, and because everyone had become so cheerful they would all vote for me without a second thought because everyone likes to be happy. And anyone who can make the country smile deserves the top job.

That was the idea. And I still stand by the premise today (even if advancing years have lost me some of my faith in the way the good folk of Britain would vote – a lot of them seem to like hateful holocaust deniers at the moment).

I was reminded of this all this morning as I was walking to Bondi Junction station on my way to work. A young man was walking towards me with a big beaming grin on his face. Not a psycho grin, but a bloomin’ big smile like he just heard some great news. It was the unashamedness of his happiness that made me smile too. I don’t know if he saw that he made me smile, I had walked past him by then, but the straight-faced guy behind him saw my big smile and goodness knows what that made him do. I hope he caught the bug and smiled at the woman behind me...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ireland language map

A blog I really enjoy is Strange Maps. It does exactly what it says on the tin, in that it posts strange maps and stuff. Sometimes they are old maps, sometimes they are cartoons, sometimes maps depicting demographical information... all sorts really.

Last week they put one up that I wanted to share with you because I thought it gave a really nice insight into Ireland's language landscape. Having had a conversation with the boy recently about languages spoken in the UK and Ireland - and how related (or otherwise) they are, this gives some nice takeaway facts on how the Irish language is faring.

I am not sure that the key will be legible. Basically it says:

Ireland as 100 people:
55 would speak only English
39 would speak mainly English, occasionally Irish
2 would speak only Irish
1 would speak Polish
3 would speak other languages

For those who don't know about the EU politics... a couple of years ago Poland was accepted into the EU, bringing an influx of Poles to the UK and Ireland. They have turned out to be short term migrants, returning home after a couple of years of money making, but their numbers have still had a big impact on the demographics of Western Europe. In the UK their arrival has made Catholicism the largest religion for the first time since the reformation yoyo changes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As if I am not bad enough at posting...

... I have gone and started another blog.

I know what you are thinking. You, my long suffering readers, will have to queue up just a little bit longer to get any attention from me.

Well hopefully not, but also I am hoping that you will be jolly interested in my new venture too!

You can see it over here (click on the word 'here'...).

You see, I have been talking a lot of feminism over here recently and wanted to make a specialist home for those thoughts. Firstly to give them the recognition, time and space that they merit, but also because excessive blogging on one particular topic is not the name of the game over here at TOE.

So go on, pop over to A Woman's Writes and have a look around. And join in the conversation. Its only day two of my new blog's life and already it has had more than 50 visitors, 6 comments and its own Twitter profile.

Should be fun!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dry July

A couple of my pals set up a charity fundraiser a couple of years back; Dry July.

This year it will be bigger and better than ever - going national across Australia for the first time.

The idea is to sponsor people to stay off the booze for the month of July, raising money for cancer charities. In New South Wales our beneficiary is the Prince Of Wales Hospital (my local).

Those of you who know me will know that laying off the grog for a whole month is going to be tough. I am hoping that regular readers who don't know me will also join in the fun. Consider it a small donation to thank me for sharing my random thoughts with you - aha.. you didn't realise there were strings attached did you?

You can sponsor my efforts here on the Dry July site. I will keep you updated on my progress through the month!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Fewer words?

In the UK people are losing the ability to discern when to use the word "less" and when it should be "fewer".

Less is used when dealing in quantities, fewer when describing something that can be counted.


"We have fewer people in our team than we used to"
"I used less than a tank of petrol to drive to Scotland"
"Woah, dude! A little less ketchup please!"
"You may use this shopping aisle if you have 12 items or FEWER in your basket"

Why do I raise this now, you ask? Because in Australia they don't seem to have the word fewer AT ALL. Educated people don't use it, professional writers don't use it... noone uses it.

At first I thought I had discovered a whole nation to which I could teach the rule, but I have been thinking... is the rule just different out here?

Australians spell some things differently to the Brits, but they aren't American in their language either... perhaps over here the word fewer has genuinely died out from the language. In the UK people use it and use it wrongly. I think I prefer its full omission than inaccurate application.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Local news

What is the future of media? Will readers pay for quality journalism? Who has a responsibility to keep the media funded? These and other such highbrow and concerning questions are being asked in every PR agency, media company, freelance home study and, well, media company, around the world. But this post from a blog I like to read gave a whole new angle to the debate.

What about the local news? Anna Pickard (the author of Little Red Boat, and the afforementioned post) is a freelance features writer who recently moved to San Francisco with her 'beloved', Bobbie Johnson, the tech writer at the Guardian. Australian readers of this blog will be familiar with both their writings as they are syndicated in many of the Australian papers.

The purpose of this post is solely to get you to read Anna's post on a couple of local newspaper articles she has found since her arrival in the USA. In case you missed the link above - you can find it here. It is incredibly funny and reminds us of the lighter side of the media.

(this post was syndicated from - i.e. actually written by me for - the Kinetics team blog; Shoot The Messenger. If I am ever too quiet over here, you may find me chatting over there (on work time...)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Two is a conflict....

I found this diagram on one of my favourite blogs (which I believe I have spoken about before). It put me in mind of something an old colleague of mine always used to say about client conflict.

"Two makes a conflict, three is a speciality"

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